Don't Let the Exam-Season Become a Disaster...Here's my advice to...
Two People, But One-sided ....Ever thought your other half ran roughshod over your views and suggestions? [Please note all personal details change in the following] Mark, 37, finds girlfriend of 18 months, Serena, 36, has a very one-sided view of life: her side. Mark was previously married to an easy-going woman although they divorced over the issue of him wanting children and she didn't. He's finding the present situation hard to handle, wondering where’s the give-and-take on day-to-day things?
What does Serena do? They'll chat about what to do or where to go and she appears to listen. But when decision time comes - she makes the decisions. Mark’s come to realise that initially Serena pretends to pay attention to his suggestions but actually it’s mere lip-service. She doesn't follow through with any joint agreement - instead her one-sided take on things wins out.
Not prepared to put up with this any longer Mark made his feelings clear and they've argued. Still she gets her way and he feels he's beating his head against a brick wall. In reality it's make or break time.
We discussed how this behaviour reflects a rigid/controlling nature that's tricky to handle particularly when you love other things about the person as he does about Serena. Though with effort, the person learns to let go of their rigid side. In others it reflects downright selfishness - the person has every intention to get their way.
Mark decided to take control at the outset in their next few discussions (I use “discussions” loosely going on her past behaviour!). Which friends to go out with Saturday? Mark said he'd ring Steve and Laura - no discussion. Where to go? Mark said he'd book the local Lebanese.
Serena cottoned on. No longer could she use the lipservice technique where in actual fact her actions had spoken louder than her words. As Mark’s were now. Point taken and she succumbed to compromise and things are now less rocky between them.
An edited version of this was published in The Times
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