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Okay, so in regards to marriage, communication, the realm of female feelings, something that keeps coming up on the internet is the way some people have of backing up a dump truck and unloading all their emotional baggage on you.

All in good humor here, but it goes something like this, “You’re intolerant, you bronze age goat herding religionist with your doormat stockholm syndrome defense of submission. I never called you crazy, you delusional and uneducated woman, you’re the reason the Emperor Constantine reigned.”

I really am laughing here, but that is the kind of crazy making luggage we often take into marriages with us. The words may be different, but the epic communication fail is not. Men especially, can have a way of trying to dance around feelings, of attempting to avoid a confrontation, of ducking and evading, of taking things out of the realm of the personal and trying to place them in the context of the world at large. That just makes everything worse. That is also how I wound up being to blame for the Emperor Constantine.

The above comment may not look like an evasion, it may not appear to be dancing around feelings, but it is. The subject is actually whether or not I am crazy. In this gentleman’s defense, he actually believes he is being considerate by not personalizing our discussion. So he’s most graciously just heaped abuse on me instead! In this situation it’s almost comical, but in marriage, it has tragic implications.

No wonder some wives often wind up feeling emotionally overwhelmed, not heard, overburdened, carrying all the responsibility, all the baggage. Intentionally or unintentionally, some men actually back up a dump truck and just start emotionally unloading. Simple is best, communication needs to be concise, direct, honest. Short and clear.

If the gentleman above had simply said, “your religion offends me,” boom, he’s just taken responsibility for his own feelings, opened the lines of communication, and we would have been halfway down the path to a beautiful relationship. I jest, but you get the idea.

As it stands now, my Stockholm syndrome as well as my diagnosis of being delusional has me imagining myself as Ingrid Bergman in the 1944 movie Gaslighting. Do I tie this guy to a chair like Ingrid did or just bake him a batch of brownies heavily laced with horse laxatives?

Women tend to zero in on the emotional notes of a conversation, on the tone and implications, somewhat defensively, so a few words can be packed with meaning. It is far kinder to be direct and blunt, to speak boldly. As hostile as this gentleman’s comment is, it is not bold, it carries no strength, it just sits there like jiggling jello, fodder for my mockery and good humor, because the gist of his argument was that my faith somehow transforms women into doormats who tolerate abuse.

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