This is the bit I am unable to answer very well. My internal default setting is: content
Not happy, not unhappy. Content is just - neutral.
But when I engage with M2 in a positive manner she radiates this happy vibe and I synchronize to THAT. And like magic I'm happy. So this is a very natural, reflexive dynamic. And when M2 is distraught and I help her achieve equilibrium, I feel a sense of accomplishment - see John's comments on strength in my new thread. This is a good thing. So emotionally, M2 is the uplifting ceiling and I am the stabilizing floor.
As to the destabilization that Far did - I don't consider it manipulation because:
- He was very clear as to WHY he was doing it
- He attempted to find a non threatening resolution for an extended time period before doing it
- His primary goal was to communicate how it felt to be deprioiritized - in the belief that once she experienced it - she would make more effort
- His behavior was sincere and didn't erode trust, it increased respect because he wasn't bluffing - if she had left him over this he would have been ok with that
His primary goal was to get sex in the way and at the frequency he wanted. He keyed in on what might trigger enough fear in her that she would comply with his wishes. I don't see anything "sincere" in that, nor would I call what was increased "respect."
And whether or not you say, "Wife, I am now going to play on *your* greatest fear in this relationship--my leaving you--and leverage it against *my* greatest fear--sexlessness, at least how I define it--and I am going to justify doing it now because I can think of no other way to get what I want, as quickly," it is still manipulation.
Look, I am not saying I don't understand why he did it. Frustration can tempt people to at least consider employing manipulation. And like French Fry said with her dread game example, manipulation works.
I would add that manipulation may work best short term. Long term I am not so sure. I guess we could debate the definition of "works," too.
But if you have any sense of decency, it surely feels *unclean* to treat people that way. Who wants to "get their needs met" through playing on a more vulnerable person's fears? How truly satisfying can that be? Posted via Mobile Device