Why do you have to be mean?

Tuli, from Fairview, wrote me to tell me that she and her husband had a talk last night. After 12 years of marriage, they decided to stay together simply for the sake of their three children. They haven’t gotten along for many months. They seem unable to start a conversation without everything being misconstrued or misunderstood; and then, consequently, a heated argument ensues. The only thing going for them is that the physical part is still there, but Tuli’s losing interest in that, too. She was candid to admit in her email that she herself can be very difficult, argumentative, crabby, bitchy, and mean-spirited just like the rest of the women in her family who cannot get along with men and are all divorced.

Tuli is tired of this constant “war of words.” She wants her marriage and her husband back. She doesn’t want to be in this cold marriage the way it is right now but doesn’t seem to know how to turn back the clock and make things right, again. Short of cutting her own tongue, she wants to know, what she can do to curt this awful behavior.

A: – This behavior is not that hard to stop because you were in love with this man at one point; so much so that you made three kids with him. Also, in spite of all your fights, you still have the “hots” for him. You can still make love to him. You still get along somehow. So, this is a good sign. Now, you can stop this behavior tomorrow by simply stopping being mean. Why do you have to be so mean? Do you want to end up like the women in your family? Where did being mean take them? They’re all alone.

This is what you’re going to do: every time he says something and you feel like you want to retaliate, say something mushy, something lovely, something nice, or something affectionate. Remind yourself that he is the man you chose to be the father of your children and that he is supposed to be the love of your life. Then treat him like that. Look into his eyes and tell him you love him. Then as you get used to treating him with kindness, you will start remembering how wonderful it felt when you first got together. Feelings follow behavior. Change what you do and you’ll change how you feel. Do it.

He may resist at first but he’ll soon change his behavior to mimic yours, unless he’s not a regular guy. If he’s not, then there is nothing you can do; after all, you picked him. But if he is a regular guy, he’ll start treating you kindly, too. When we treat our men like crap, they’ll treat us like crap, too, because they take our lead. We women rule our relationships. We have all the power over the men because they are born from women; they marry women, and they are very dependent upon us emotionally. When we are sweet to our men, there is nothing they won’t do for us. I have seen it.

Don’t use your power in an ill manner, otherwise you are going to end up unhappy and divorced. Use it to your advantage so your man will place you up there with the stars. When you use the power you have in a positive way, you and he will be happy together. To use your power to keep from being dominated by a man is such horse manure, unless you’ve got a psychopath in your home. Then, no matter how sweet you are, nothing will help; but generally speaking, women don’t have psychopaths for husbands.

For ten days I want you to turn up the volume on the kindness, loveliness, and sweetness in your relationship no matter how pissy you are. No matter how angry you want to become, you will treat him as if you just met him. If he misunderstands you, you will sweetly explain to him what you meant but you are not going to get angry.

After ten days, email me and tell me if my advice sucked. The truth is, this marriage doesn’t have to end.

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