Don’t you just hate bullies! They try to get what they want by bullying you, by intimidating you, and by making you feel inferior to them. If you are like us, this NEVER works! Yet, so many good folks succumb to the bully. And we wonder why?
So what is a bully? In the simplest terms, a bully is someone who can’t get what he/she wants through normal means. What they want is power. When you deny them that power they resort to forceful means to get what they want.
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Here is how it works in love and marriage. One of the folks in the relationship wants something – be it a new car, a new apartment, a new dishwasher, or a new toy of some variety. The other person involved in the relationship does not. As you might guess, all heck breaks loose!
The bully in the relationship must get what he/she wants. So instead of acting rationally (i.e., Do we have enough money to pay for this?), the bully resorts to name-calling (i.e., You are always keeping me from buying things!), intimidation (If you don’t let me buy this I am walking out the door.), or they resort to making you feel inferior (i.e., How could someone like you be so stupid?).
If you are like most people, you would rather have peace. So in the interest of maintaining harmony in your relationship, you fall prey to the bullying – you give them what they want.
But here is the deal – this strategy never works! You give them what they want and they then do it to you again! You always succumb to their wishes. You always lose. Letting them win is a bad idea.
Truth is, real loving relationships are not about you and me, they are about US! They are about WE. As we are fond of saying, It takes two to Tango. You cannot Tango by yourself. Until you learn this important lesson in your relationship, your relationship will be doomed to failure. Finding the courage to stand up to a bully is perhaps the only way to effectively stop the bullying.
So, how do you handle the bully in your loving relationship?
The answer in a nutshell is, never succumb to their wishes when they resort to bullying. Keep your composure. Follow the wisdom of Rudyard Kipling when he says:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same.
The simple truth is, bullies should never be allowed to win – even if they are your lover or your spouse. True loving relationships are about making important decisions together. Once you fall into the trap of intimidation and bullying, your relationship begins its dissent into the poverty of your relationship. Rarely does a relationship recover from this.
Be strong. Be brave. Never succumb to a bully, even if it is someone you love deeply, as to do so diminishes the value of your relationship, forever.
These are among the most important lessons of love and of life.
In love and marriage the simple things matter. Love well!