Conflict # 33 – The Last Straw

“John”, forty years of age and the father of one son, sought help because his wife, “Jane”, was planning to divorce him.

This didn’t come out of the blue; it was preceded by years of hurtful and discouraging events. Along the way John had experienced deep depression, but he repeatedly refused treatment. During those dark days, he would suffer in silence, hide in the bedroom and rail in anger at his wife and son. This went on through most of their son’s childhood, and when the young man turned eighteen, he left.

The last straw was this: John wanted to buy a motorcycle.

Jane objected. Some months prior, she had witnessed a fatal motorcycle accident in which the cyclist crashed into the side of a semi trailer. Although she was able to drive away quickly and didn’t see the grizzly aftermath, the memory stayed with her for a long time, and she begged him not to go ahead. But he dismissed her fears and bought the motorcycle.

That did it. After all the abuse and rejection he had heaped upon her, she couldn’t take any more.

If you’ve followed my previous articles on the subject of conflict resolution, you’ve read about the importance of listening, validation and respect. Breaking just one conflict resolution principle is bad enough. But when you break more than one at the same time, the damage is multiplied.

In this case a husband didn’t listen to his wife, he did not validate her fears, and he showed blatant disrespect for her happiness. Clueless that her staying in the marriage was a miracle in itself, he was shocked when she said she was leaving.

Poor John. And I wonder how many of us have been there. Have your desires or your moods ever blinded you to the needs, rights and welfare of others? What price have you paid? If you are struggling with this kind of thing, please call me for a free consultation at 219-309-3928. I’ll be more than glad to talk to you.

Thanks for reading!