Don't Let the Exam-Season Become a Disaster...Here's my advice to...
The Female Self-Destruct Button [whole personal details change]
What is it with some women having a self-destruct button fitted from the moment they start having relationships? An acquaintance of mine, Kate, 43, is seeing –seriously - a nice, mild-mannered man that she apparently loves. By seriously I mean they spend six out of seven nights together, have met each other's families, and holiday together.
However Kate confessed that every few months, when they have a disagreement, she throws a bit of a hissy fit to "keep Jonathan on his toes". She claims that usually she discusses things calmly as they arise. And that approach suits Jonathan's mild-mannered nature as he hates rowing.
But Kate described an overwhelming urge to get stroppy on occasion. She feels compelled to “shake things up" despite it upsetting Jonathan. Kate thinks that it's not such a bad thing to do so. Whereas I think it's an unhealthy strategy and that her occasional sabotage is more about her hitting some sort of self-destruct button then shaking things up.
At some level Kate's testing his commitment to their relationship. It's her way of making sure he really cares. In reality it's a perverse way to prove you're wanted but I find lots of women press a self-destruct button to get this confirmation at some level - his anger, his pleading, his hurt - from their partner.
Of course it's self-destructive because it’s liable to backfire and the person they hope will ride with their behaviour decides it's not worth the rather wild ride after all.
Where does it come from? Usually from complicated feelings of desperately wanting to be loved but feeling unworthy of it. The person gets almost angry that their partner actually seems to love them. “Love me? Well, let’s just test that...” is the way the thinking goes.
While the partner’s thinking they'd do anything for a simple life, with a loving relationship, and where no one reaches for that dreaded button!
An edited version of this was published in The Times
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