Thursday Thought — How Do I Make Conflicts with Him Go Better?
You have perhaps noticed that I haven’t written about how you can resolve conflicts with your partner more constructively. That’s no accident. I don’t believe that a woman can make things go better with a controlling or abusive man by changing how she argues with him. Some people may say that you should bring things up with him in a very diplomatic, nondemanding manner, almost like you’re asking him for a favor. Others will tell you the opposite: that you should be firm and non-nonsense with him, setting clear limits and boundaries about his behavior. You may be advised to talk just about how you feel, so that you don’t sound like you are criticizing your partner. Some people believe that you’ll reach him more successfully if you give him lots of reassurance that you love him and that you’re just trying to make your relationship go better.
Some days, one or more of these approaches may seem to actually work. But it’s an illusion. Within a few days or weeks he’ll be right back to his usual behaviors. This is one of the ways you can identify the fact that your partner is abusive: There simply is no “right way” to talk to him.
It makes sense to improve your own behavior, but for a different reason: because it will help you build your own self-respect, and it will help your children. It won’t change him.
[Entry from Lundy Bancroft’s Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?* p196]