Alice kept trying to get her negative, critical, bullying, abusive husband to empower her.  She wanted him to admit that she was logical, reasonable and had good ideas.  She wanted him to listen to her feelings.  But that’s never going to happen.

He wouldn’t give her the victory.
He would always argue better than she could.  He’d rant forever about the smallest things.  He seemed to love being angry.  He always found examples of when she was too stupid or wrong or bad.  He was routinely critical, sarcastic and demeaning.  He claimed that since she wasn’t perfect, she couldn’t criticize what he said or did.

Even when he might admit she was right (once a year, if she was lucky) he muttered it under his breath and never changed his behavior.

Alice understood his psychology but that didn’t help her.
Alice knew that his parents were alcoholic and physically, mentally and emotionally abusive to him and his siblings.  He had to fight to survive.  She thought that upbringing had caused him to be the way he was.

She was wrong.  Those situations weren’t causes; those were just horrible situations.  He chose those responses in order to survive; in order to fight for a place for himself.  And he chose to perpetuate those choices even now, although he was an adult, not a helpless kid, and even though Alice was never creating similar situations.  He chose to continue those behaviors because they made him feel righteous and powerful and he usually won.

Alice learned that there were many people who’d grown up in much worse circumstances but who’d chosen to become wonderful spouses and parents.

Alice could never prove herself to him or love him enough to get him to change.
Sometimes he’d begrudgingly say that he was trying to be kinder or sweeter so she should get off his back.  But his good behavior never lasted more than a few minutes.  Alice could never fill his bucket with love, compassion and kindness because his bucket had no bottom.

Alice finally took power over her own actions; she stopped waiting for him to empower her.
Finally, something snapped in Alice.  She’d had enough.  She was done.  She simply gave up trying to rescue him from himself.  She had to take care of her own life and future.  She also had to set a good examples for her children.

If he was more in love with his own inner war and with his fights against her and the world than he was in love with treating her politely, civilly and lovingly, he’d have to find a different dog to kick.

She told him the behavior she expected and demanded, or he’d be out of her personal space.  She stopped considering whether he liked it, approved of it or argued that it wasn’t fair.  She stopped waiting for him to empower her.  He did not get to vote on the behavior necessary to be near her.  He only got to vote on whether he would behave in the necessary way.

She finally said that she didn’t care about his reasons, excuses or justifications for his rotten treatment of her.  She didn’t care how hard he said he was trying, only results counted.  She started quoting Yoda from Star Wars, “There is no try, Luke, only do or not do.”

Alice took power over her own actions; she stopped waiting for him to decide she deserved to be empowered.  She stopped waiting for him the grant her the right to have power.  She stopped feeling guilty.  And she determined to resist his fighting back against her.  She could fight strength in lawyers, coaches and friends.

The same applies with friends, family and at work.

Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation.  The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be now is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling