Thursday, March 9, 2017

Throwing gasoline on a fire...

I'm not sure why, but some people think the way to motivate another person is to create adverse conditions.  When Bill was married to his ex wife, she would often make bad situations worse instead of working with him to help improve things.  It happened so many times that when she finally delivered her final ultimatum-- that is, go see a Mormon bishop and confess to being someone he wasn't or get a divorce-- the choice was pretty easy to make.  He opted for the divorce.  Although it seemed like things were going to go straight to hell, life eventually got much better for him.  He's now healthier and happier and rid of the dead weight that was his ex wife.

I'm writing about this today because Bill is now in a position to help people who are in the same situation.  I have seen him do it over and over again.  He runs into guys who are in bad situations, at work, at home, or both.  He hears them being yelled at and threatened by the very people who should be standing by them.  He listens to them talk about how it would devastate them if they lost this person in their life... the person who threatens them with a divorce if they lose their job instead of doing what they can to be supportive.  Bill knows what that feels like because he lived it.  He knows that there is life after divorce.  He got the divorce and now lives his life on his own terms.  Life got better.

I don't understand why some people feel that in order to make things change for someone, they have to try to drive them to rock bottom.  That's what my husband's former wife did.  She talked to one of her dumbass friends, who advised her that in order to get Bill to "change", she needed to drive him to rock bottom.  So the ex deliberately did things to make life harder for Bill.  She clearly didn't understand the actual concept of "rock bottom", which has nothing to do with creating a bad situation or making a bad situation worse.  Instead, it has everything to do with letting people live with the consequences of bad decisions.  If you want to help someone reach rock bottom, you don't deliberately do things that fuck them up.  You simply stop supporting their bad decisions by helping them out when those choices put them in a jam.

But a lot of people seem to have bastardized the concept.  I see a lot of times, it's women who do this.  It's incredibly stupid, too.  They think they have to put negative pressure on their significant other to get the results they want.  She's married to a man and he's the sole breadwinner in the family.  He's having trouble at work.  Instead of talking to him, supporting him, loving him, and helping him figure out how to improve things, she threatens to divorce him, which makes his problems even worse.  Talk about throwing gasoline on a fire!  It makes no sense!

I want to shake some of these women and say, "Think about what will happen if you get a divorce.  You'll be on your own.  And, to be honest, if you marry someone and threaten them with divorce because they don't do your bidding, do you think you deserve to have them in your life?  Would you like it if someone treated you that way?"

Sadly, a lot of men have been trained not to set their partners straight when they issue threats.  They listen, get scared, and don't realize that anyone who would cut bait in times of adversity is not worth their time.  And a lot of women, feeling powerless and helpless, think threats are an effective way to get their partners to straighten up and fly right.  Most of the time, all ultimatums do is make bad situations worse.  And really, if you are regularly issuing ultimatums to your spouse, you probably should split up.

I'm pretty sure this stuff comes from fear, most of the time...  But it's completely irrational and counterproductive behavior.  If you're in a partnership and your partner is struggling, it's better to be kind and supportive rather than threatening.  If you have to issue threats, maybe you should rethink your partnership.  And if you are on the receiving end of threats, you definitely should rethink it.


  1. The ex must have been so charming. She reminds me of a few of my aunts except that they married men as toxic as they are.


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