13 Jul Just Because You Can Is The Very Reason You Shouldn’t

“He always takes it out on me.”
“She always takes it out on me.”
“I always take it out on her.”
“I always take it out on him.”

As someone who has worked with married couples for years, I have heard those phrases many, many times. So often, married people, me included, take out our frustrations, hurts, uncertainties and anxieties on a spouse. For some of us, that means getting angry and loud. For others it means the silent treatment. And for some it means being passive aggressive.

But why in the world do we do it?
Why would we treat the person we are supposed to be closest with, the worst?

  • Because we can. They will take it. They might get mad. They might get frustrated, but they will take it. They take it for many reasons—maybe they don’t want to fight. Maybe they are use to it or because they feel that it’s the way they deserved to be treated. They take it.
  • Because it feels good. Releasing the pressure value of all the “junk” feels good. Studies show that when we are angry, our bodies are flooded with energy inducing chemicals. In other words, nobody is yawning when they are mad.
  • Because we want people to respect and like us. So many of us are so civil, so polite, so considerate, so patient, so concerned, so controlled with co-workers, employers, employees, store clerks, school teachers, kid’s coaches, even perfect strangers. Why? Because we want to be liked and admired.

The problem is that when one or both spouses take it out on each other, it robs their marriage of intimacy, safety and laughter. It’s also a terrible example for our kids.

It can even cause marriages to end when one or both spouses can no longer handle how easy and frequent taking it out on each other has become.

But then there are those couples that get it, really get it. Sure they have their quiet days, their sad days, their frustrated moments, but their spouse is never their verbal punching bag, their person to hurt, their person to shut out.

They know that one day they will become irrelevant at work, but their spouse is there until death does them part. They treat each other the way they want to be treated. They treat them like they are best friends forever. They treat their spouse better than any person on the planet.

They choose to be nice. Sound too simple? Too easy?
Exactly. In fact, I’m convinced that if most of us treated our spouse with the same amount of respect, consideration and kindness that we give our coworkers, friends and extended family, our marriages would be great.

Yes, there is something beautiful about the fact that we can be ourselves with our spouses, but let’s not take advantage of that privilege.

Just because we can take it out on our spouse is the very reason we shouldn’t.

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