When Jane repeats a familiar threat, John says something that even surprised him.
It’s 10:30am and Jane and John have been texting each other madly since the big blow up at 5:30 that morning. They have both gone to work but are still arguing through their phones.
John is pursuing an apology and a truce after Jane’s disrespectful outburst. Jane is defending herself and justifying her harsh words and blaming him for making her so angry.
John is feeling hurt by Jane’s continual criticism and lack of affection. She’s been acting coldly toward him and continues to reject his efforts reconnect.
Their emotional cyber-fight is not going well.
John: “You were horrible to me this morning for no reason. You need to apologize.”
Jane: “Maybe I wouldn’t be so horrible if I felt like I didn’t have to do EVERYTHING.”
John: You don’t have to. I think you just want everything done YOUR way. I’m always willing to help and you know it. But nothing I do is ever good enough for you.
Jane: With the way you try to help, I’d be better off as a single mother.
John: WTF does THAT mean? What are you saying?
Jane: Maybe it’s time we get serious about just calling it quits. I’m so done with all this crap. I can’t take it anymore. I think I should just leave and get it over with.
It happened again.
Jane threatened John with divorce again. It her “go to” move to shut him down and silence him. It works every time and he hates that he can’t respond to it.
Because it scares the crap out of him. It feels abusive.
It makes his brain freeze and his mouth inoperable. It starts the horror movies in his mind of moving away from his kids, seeing Jane with someone else and living like an aimless, penniless gypsy.
He has no defense against the fear created by her threats. Being abandoned is one of John’s biggest insecurities and Jane knows it.
They talked about their tendency to attack each other’s weak spots and, during 6 weeks of marriage counseling, each of them vowed to do better.
But today was not one of their better days.
How the Fear of Divorce Can Accelerate Divorce
John’s fear of divorce is part of the problem.
He is so focused on all the things he doesn’t want that is all he’s getting. It’s like a race car driver looking at the wall and trying to avoid it at the same time. John’s about to hit the wall.
John is getting more anger, more arguing, more distance and more disrespect because that’s what he is bringing to the party. His fear is causing him to perpetuate the negativity by negatively reacting to Jane.
This will surely speed up the decline of his marriage.
John’s fear of what he doesn’t want keeps him from boldly standing up for what he does want. He’s afraid of what Jane will say if he tells her what he expects from their marriage.
He’s scared she will reject him if he takes the lead to create a more positive, compassionate and affectionate energy in the marriage.
He is afraid that the one and only woman in the world currently qualified to share a healthy, loving, respectful and passionate relationship may leave him for wanting just that.
Sounds a little silly when you think about it.
John thought so too.
John’s Fearless Response to Jane
“This is bullshit!” he said to himself.
“I’m not playing this game anymore. I can’t just keep my mouth shut every time she brings up divorce.”
Later that night, after the kids were in bed, John sat on the couch with Jane.
He was more calm and deliberate than she had seen in a long time and it calmed her. Then John said,
“Sweetie, this day was not one of our best and I expect to never repeat it again. We both went down a rat hole we’ve seen way too often. I’m better than that. We’re better than that.
I love you as my wife, my lover, and the mother of our two incredible kids. I’ve always loved you. It’s always been you. I want us to treat each other with more respect and kindness and create the life we wanted when we first met. I want the joy, affection and tenderness back. I want more passion. I expect those things from myself and for myself.
That’s the life I intend to have – even if you divorce me. I don’t want that and I want your threats of leaving to stop. They no longer scare me and they will destroy any chance we have of rebuilding the trust needed to move forward. I plan to lead the way. You can join me or not. And if you really think you want a divorce, please just skip the threats and go ahead and get the papers I’ll never try to keep you where you’re not happy.
Let’s go to bed and try again tomorrow. It will be better than today…promise.”
You may wonder how Jane responded. You may want to know how the story ends.
It doesn’t matter. It’s not the point.
John has finally become detached from his fear. He has stated his intent to Jane and to the world.
He is no longer dependent on the outcome with Jane and realizes that the only way he will ever have what he wants is to create it.
It starts with him. And he’s good with that.
If you want to learn more about losing your fear and creating what you want, click below to get your free copy of “The Hard-to-Swallow Truth About Saving Your Marriage” HERE.