Women speak about miserable relationships and hopeless feelings all the time. They report that their partners have no interest in counseling, are under a lot of stress, and can’t handle more right now. Women can’t push or demand too much from the men because it may break them in one way or another; they believe the men can only take so much before they either explode or implode.
Subsequently, women either say little, or say a lot (complain), and demand nothing.
This type of thinking reminds me of Jack Nicholson’s famous line in A Few Good Men: “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” It’s entitled, co-dependant, and unhealthy. Neither you, nor I, have the right to decide what someone else can or cannot handle…only the other person has that right.
The idea that men can’t handle being held accountable for co-creating a healthy relationship is an insult to men, I believe. Given that many men are running top companies, managing entire groups of people, helping to care for their families etc., it’s doubtful that they can’t handle a little relational accountability.
If you truly believe that your partner is that fragile or volatile, than take him to the emergency room for an evaluation. Minimally get him into therapy, because he sounds like he’s on the brink. First however, ask yourself: Is your partner being relationally responsible at work, with friends, or with the children? If the answer is yes to ANY of these places then you are telling yourself a lie; your partner CAN handle things, he just chooses not to with you.
If you’re unhappy about your relationship then do something to change it. Don’t tip toe around your partner and act as if you have no choice but to accept the status quo. That’s being a martyr…and it’s very unbecoming.
Chances are your partner’s stressed…just like you, me, and millions of other people in this world; that is not an excuse to not work his relationship. It’s also not an excuse for you being miserable.
It’s not your job to make sure he’s calm and stable–that’s being co-dependant. It’s your job to realize you deserve a healthy, loving relationship and then fight like hell to get it. When you fight, make sure you relationally fight using a GPS (Grounded Powerful Strength) rather than an aggressive strength.
CHALLENGE: If you’re holding back on holding your partner accountable for a healthy relationship out of fear that he can’t handle it, stop fooling yourself. Complaining, excusing, and justifying your partner’s non-relational behaviors, and your unwillingness to call him on it in a real way, will keep you miserable. Is that where you want to be?