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FEMALE ABUSE


Just as a man who contains his hostility at work may come home and kick the proverbial dog, so a woman who is submissive to others "out there" may come home and "take it out" on her husband. Forced by constraints of female niceness to hold her tongue and defer to friends, and even strangers, the security she feels at home may give silent permission to un-repress otherwise denied aggression and covert dominance.

If such a verbally abused ("misunderstood") husband "takes it personally," as though her revealed hostility is about him, as it indeed is outwardly directed, relational conflict is predictable. Blindly, resurrecting his own repressed marital disappointments, he may react irrationally, as in, becoming defensive, trying to explain himself, or counter-attacking–erroneously believing her revealed disturbance is about him–that he, in effect, is the cause of her upsetness.

Ideally, in contrast with what commonly happens (at least for me), a man might: 1) understand the phenomenon of repression/projection; 2) avoid "getting hooked" by a woman's revealed ("acted out") aggression (or obviously disturbed state at the time); 3) keep on thinking reasonably (remain self-contained, on his own Green Spot), weighing all available date, including knowledge about repression/projection (as described above), and predictable consequences of each typical reaction of his own (defensiveness, explanations, counter-attack, or otherwise "trying to calm her down"); 4) choose a saner response based on other knowledge about specific, immediate circumstances and his wife's particular  traits (e.g., times of emotional entrapment, as well as individualized patterns of projecting aggression, plus, of course, some form of self protection if her mental abuse is accompanied by physical abuse also).


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