Do you know what contempt sounds like in your marriage? Steve Horsmon uses real-life blog comments to illustrate it for you.
I couldn’t help but shake my head in amazement while reading dozens of heated comments on a recent viral article on the Huffington Post website – The Thing All Women Do You Don’t Know About.
The author gave her personal account of the fear and discomfort she has felt at the hands, words, and eyes of misbehaving men. She passionately described the emotional triggers that happen to many women who feel sexualized, objectified, harassed or abused. Her final request from men was to “Just Listen”.
It was the perfect topic to set off a firestorm of reactions from the readers. Any article that says, “I feel this way when you do that and you need to stop.” is going to trip a few triggers – good and bad. Kudos to the many commenters who kept an even keel and added empathy, insight, analysis and value to the discussion.
Predictably, many others jumped in to prove how damn easy it is to transform a simple discussion about feelings into an all-out war.
Just like in marriage.
My guys love real-life examples of how they can change their words and actions to create a closer, more loving and trusting relationship. They are trying to escape negative and destructive communication patterns which are sabotaging their marriage.
Many of the comments were a beautiful display of how NOT to speak to your spouse. Seeing real-life contempt in action can be helpful.
Contempt kills relationships. It erodes trust and respect. It creates wounds that never heal.
By identifying contempt and other destructive relationship behaviors between couples, marriage researcher, John Gottman, could predict eventual divorce with about 94% accuracy.
Contempt isn’t always obvious. It shows up as keenly crafted words that sound rational, but have the intent to destroy. Sometimes it easier to spot when blatant personal attacks and name calling come into play.
What Contempt Sounds Like
Here’s a smattering of comments laced with contempt. It doesn’t matter if the comment came from a man or a woman. Contempt is not gender specific.
You’ve learned nothing at all except to hate women – that IS what you’re doing by refusing to see one of the most important issues women have.
I just don’t see it happening. Not sure who you’re hanging out with, but I don’t see it.
Men do not want to look at themselves, or change anything about themselves.
Maybe we should allow only women to carry firearms. Until men learn to respect their sisters.
I have no obligation to acknowledge or understand men’s “true fears and insecurities”.
When will you get it??
Poor men have it so bad. Newsflash…no, you don’t.
You clearly didn’t read the whole article. Otherwise you would not have made it about you.
The problem is for most of the male species, even if you tell them, they tend to belittle it.
You just make sh*t up. So, please, just keep your religion to yourself.
Whine, whine. Men find me attractive and that makes me uncomfortable!
You are so ignorant about the world that you could use a little education on other countries.
So, women smile and de-escalate when entitled men are obscenely rude and threatening but treat good men as losers to be used as whipping boys for the creeps. Pardon me while I don’t cry. Or have we been divided and conquered?
Of course the one thing she wants is something men are horrible at….listening. Someone should have warned us a boys we were all going to grow up to be the boogyman.
What an eloquent, well put together, WHINE about being a girl!
Blood Pressure Rising?
Did reading that spike your BP at little? How about a little queasy knot in your gut? Twinge of anger?
That’s what contempt is designed to do. That’s how it sounds and feels. It destroys trust and respect.
I believe healthy marital debates and disagreements are a good thing. There should always be room for another point of view without fear of being attacked. But if we want to disagree without the fear of being attacked, we must learn how to do it without destroying the foundation of trust and respect.
If you want to lower the pressure in your marriage and increase feelings of acceptance, approval and attraction, try listening to what you’re about to say…before you say it.
Think about your intentions. Decide how you want your partner to feel when you’re done saying it.
If you smell contempt in your words, take a breather. You can do better if you want to.
I wrote a special report for men in a struggling marriage. Download your free copy of “The Hard to Swallow Truth About Saving Your Marriage” by clicking HERE.