Saturday, May 4, 2013

What the heck is she so mad about?

Can I take a few minutes and explain why she gets mad about "nothing?" Very rarely is she mad about whatever you think she is mad about. Usually, we are close. Might even be the same subject, but not the reason. I don't know if I will be able to put this into the best words. I may have to rely on some stories to make this point.
I have some married friends who aren't on board with my hard earned advice, yet. She is a good friend of my wife, almost like sisters when they are together. He is kinda in his own world. Heavily involved with a religious group that makes no sense to me. They notoriously pick and choose which parts of the bible they see as most important. Seems to be the parts that support however they choose to live. Good people for the most part, just hard to communicate with. He regularly uses their teachings to interfere with family issues and things that matter to her. Meanwhile, using different ones to justify whatever he wants to do. ( Don't bother asking which group, not getting into that since most do it to one extreme or another )
They run their own business. They only own one vehicle, a work van. Two seats for a family of four. She has been asking him for over a year to buy a second car for her and the kids. Consistently, almost  every week, asking for a car. A few days ago, another friend called him and wanted to talk. He told him how dangerous it was and how he was endangering his family by putting them in that work van. So. He goes home and informs his wife that he thinks they should buy another car. Stunned silence. Really. Why? Because his friend chewed him out and made him see the problem. She is mad at him. She is going to get the car, but she is insanely angry at him. Guys, tell me why. Before reading any farther, try to figure it out. Ready?
She is mad because he doesn't listen to her. Her opinion doesn't matter. She has been practically begging for a year with no response. A buddy gets on to him for ten minutes and the world comes into focus. Make sense? It makes sense to her. He heard something that a buddy said and ignored the same thing from the most important person in his life. Get it? Here's a better one....
Me. I have already written about my angry past in several. Even got into the details of listening (let it go) and actually hearing. My family has a great history of refusing to forgive and move on. Some of them have defined their whole life by a few tragic things in their past. I ended doing the same thing. Spent ten years growing dark and angry over things in my life that were just wrong. It was always there, I was trained to stay angry. Trained by some of the best. Sarcasm and frustration gradually evolved into hatred and darkness. Bitterness was always in my attitude. I got mean. From the first year of our marriage, my wife told me to just let that stuff go. She told me every time it showed up. Never heard her. In our private counseling session withJoel and Kathy Davisson, Kathy told me that I could just let it go. I did. They didn't believe me at first. I understood. It made sense. I could just let it go. My wife wasn't impressed. She was glad that it finally clicked, but seriously pissed off that I heard it from someone else.
We generally assume that the final, finished product is all that really matters. We rarely consider the issues and details along the way. She does. Everything we say and do confirms her as that very important person, or shows her that she doesn't really matter. Our intentions might be good, but our actions tell her the story. Most guys are ok with taking the same amount of time trying to convince her that he loves her than just spending the same energy to show her.
So, she is mad because your actions, attitude, behavior, decisions or whatever it is, tell her that she isn't as important as you say. There are usually more things than just that, but that seems to be the core of it. You can't fake that stuff. You can't just talk a good game and get away with it. You have to take the time to really know her and what matters to her. Then you have to make the effort to put all that new information into daily practice. It's no different than learning any new skill. You have to put in the time and effort to make your home happy. She's not the thermostat, either. You are. You set the tone by loving her right and listening. Don't put that pressure on her. Step up, be the man, take responsibility for your home and marriage. Just like a busted pipe or a blown fuse, there's a problem. Find the problem, fix the problem, take the steps to prevent it from becoming a problem again.
Take some time to make a list this week. Make a list of the things that make her happy. Things she enjoys. Things that are important to her. Then make another list of things she doesn't like. Be as thorough as possible, everything you can think of. Then let her read the list. See how close you are. Let her correct anything she doesn't agree with. Then thank her and study that list. It's like having a cheat sheet for the relationship. Do this, don't do that. Simple. It's just a good starting point. A guide for ways to make life good for her.
You guys have a great week.

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