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There are communication breakdowns, the bad habit of independent behaviours getting in the way of forming or maintaining the 'us' in a marriage relationship, failure to stay connected to one another, and perhaps not having a basic level of respect towards one another, and maybe even coming into a marriage under prepared and not fully developed as an individual and maybe having misguided expectations formed in the first place.
Exactly. For an 'us' to happen, there have to be two rather strong people that go into that 'us'. Sure, weak moments can and will happen, and it is normal for the other partner to jump in and help. Those two people like eachother based on some qualities (this is the way life is). Those qualities can't completely disapear for ever else the marriage fails.
Respect, if you wish, is in my opinion the most important thing in a relationship between two people, followed by trust. If respect is missing the behaviour of the people involved will change greatly. Lack of respect means you think your spouse doesn't deserve good behaviour, support or love from you. Obviously this is bad. For short you need to see your spouse as an equal. Yes, with different personality and different needs, but as an equal in rights and as deserving to receive love and support and your opinion etc.
For example, the wife perhaps has low self-esteem and has the habit left over from childhood of using emotional outbursts to attempt to get something out of her husband as he's generally not too responsive. Unfortunately emotional outbursts further allienate in this case and cause anger and resentment rather then empathy and understanding. Its a kind of dance they are each doing and probably are pretty good at it. Is this where you are going Kekko?
-Say the husband, as a child, always got anger and dis-aproval from his parents when he cried after candy...because his parents told him to 'toughen up'. He matured, realized crying to get something never works, and accepted it. As his parents, he will treat this kind of behaviour in the same way because he was taught it was bad and immature.
-The wife, on the other hand, would get what she wants because her daddy couldn't stand to see her cry and wanted to please her. Hence she was encouraged indirectly to behave that way in order to get something (most of the times emotional support). Since she was never discouraged from it, she keeps doing that. So, her and her husband have conflicting opinions on the matter.
When he sees her act that way he gets annoyed, offended and feels like he has to put an end to this kind of behaviour (like his parents did to him), eventually even teasing her once in a while as a test, in order to 'toughen her up' thinking that she'll eventually reach the point where she understands. She on the other hand jumps to the conclusion that he doesn't love her or care (because daddy, who did love her, always tried to please her, and tolerated her behaviour). If he hadn't loved her, he wouldn't have married her. He wouldn't bother to tease her. People aren't mean to other people when they don't care about those people (this is a fact of life). They just plain don't care.
At any rate, I guess I was looking at your comments and making what I perceived (based on my own experience such as it is) and seeing a possible progression or lack of. I see the marriage relationship as a relationship that evolves and progresses in some fashion over time. So if a couple or if one or each of the individuals works on their weaknesses within their marriage (act in a pro-active rather than reactive manner) likely the marriage will evolve in a healthier fashion. Thus when 'stuff happens' that is part of life (in my example --an illness) the more pro-active couple will
be able to weather the storm more readily. But if the couple are plagued with immaturity, low self esteem issues, poor communication skills--whatever, these things will make the situation more difficult--- most likely.
Yup. From the point of view of the husband....him knowing that whenever his wife encounters difficulties she'll burst in tears and do nothing, how hopeful do you think he is that if he goes to war and something bad happens, when he comes back his wife will be strong and mature enough to take care of him? How would you, or any of us for that matter feel, if we knew that should trouble arrise, our spouse is not strong or mature enough to handle the situation. Doesn't matter if the spouse really can given the situation. It's all about how we perceive our spouse.
People should first of all work on theirselves before working on a marriage. If you know you have low self esteem, don't wait for your spouse to pull you out. It's not his/her duty to fix that problem, that's generally yours and only you can fix anyway (for it to last).
Concerning the crying: crying in some contexts could be a natural emotional release to a loss or it could be rooted in a past trauma the person is unaware of ---kind of like post traumatic stress syndrome.
Crying is a normal behaviour and it's actually beneficial for releasing stress and frustration. It's more common for women because they weren't bugged all childhood like men were with 'crying is for sissies and it makes you look weak'. Men do exactly the same thing with manifesting anger. It's the same emotions, just a different way of expressing it. When they couldn't cry, they found an alternate mode of manifesting frustration. A crying woman and a very angry man are most of the times the exact same thing. But constant anger and constant crying are both frustrating at hell and at some point you wonder what the hell you are doing so wrong to cause your spouse so much unhappiness. Obviously this makes you unhappy (either to the point of tears or anger) as well.
Until the person confronts the real cause to their trauma its doubtful anyone including a spouse can help. Perhaps this is why the spouse has given up in some ways and simply reacts with anger, distancing and other passive agressive behaviours. The spouse intuitively understands they are helpless to unlock the mystery. Just a thought. What do you think of this notion?
A spouse can't help with your personal internal conflicts. I know, i've been there. My husband jumped from being supportive, to being funny, to being angry, to being basically anything he could think of. It did not help. I had to pull my own self out because the problem was in my head! And yes, i agree with your notion. Specially if niceness didn't work, you'll be stuck with an exasperated spouse that knows he/she can't help, wants their happy strong spouse back and feels powerless.