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My wife and I are at odds again. Today it was a broken cupboard and a party on the weekend. It becomes really difficult to manage my inner feelings when she presses my hot buttons.

I try not to let it bother me too much, but it makes me upset when she presses on these issues and attempts to circumnavigate some kind of result out of me.

The habit has now become so pronounced that she has been funnelling her energy into not getting done or ready for what she wants now at all, she just whittles at me to do it.

I'm certain I'm not without blame here; I have my share of whatever clash we get into. I've just been noticing that my own responses, are different. It feels like I'm less interested in fighting about things at all. Verbally.

I just feel so indignant that it isn't something I want to explore. I would much rather not respond to or experience whatever it is she is leveraging trying to get me to do what she wants.

I can't help but think about how I was managed as a child, yelled at and struck about. I know trust can produce the same result. So now I find myself in the dangerous waters of the unknown.

Can I imagine a way through my problems with my family to come out whole, or do the sins of the father repeat again? I might not be so wicked, but I do hope she can get onboard sooner than later.

I got her some 'middle aged lady drugs' I'm sure that is the technical name. I am really hoping they work. Before I get accused of secretly drugging my wife; hear me out: I can't live with her, and I can't kill her. So my options are to facilitate happiness for her.

Stage one includes new diet and hormone balancing vitamins. Being off work, that gives me control of the evening menu, so I'm in.

Stage two involves an exercise routine, which I already got a jump on with a ladies kick fit class on the weekend. She's complaining about it already and she's only done one class, so it might be too early to tell...

I digress, I love this woman, but she drives me fucking insane. Honest to god. So, for the good of the entire universe, I'm spiking this woman's food with vitamins. I'm gonna serve her good food and take care of her and rub her feet and encourage her to move her body more and maybe I'll make the world a better place where she isn't so bitter all the time.

Why is this my job? IT ISN'T. It's either this or 1950's her in the face, which feels ugly to me somehow. In the context of a class of martial arts students, laying hands on is fine for training, but I always felt the use of violence for an end, really results in short term gains only. Survival, short term is great, but if our timelines are infinite then maybe a long game is the better choice.

MY POINT: Is that when she asks me to do something and I nod and smile and she rolls her eyes and says "Could you just say yes?" Instead of slapping her across the face for saying something 'out of turn' maybe instead recognize that she has her own needs and requires some care of her own. If she is acting a way, it is because she feels a way.

All of this doesn't need to be deconstructed. It just means the message isn't always what is being said, sometimes it is how it is being said. The medium and the message get reversed. We take things too personally.

Go have a nice sit for yourself now. You deserve it.

Jesse Bruce
Jesse Bruce
Feb 21

Your dream comes to mind here. Seems like you are getting to the crux of it though. It could be the case that, in general, your soul desires for you to respond differently. But it does not quite know how or, because of all the conditioning of your ego, it can't quite communicate to you what it would prefer for you to do.

A relationship with your partner is likely one of the most difficult things to get right in life. But if you do, can be the most rewarding too. It is perhaps an important milestone to true spiritual development because, if you really look at it for what it is, if you can achieve true companionship with your partner then, more to the point, you can achieve true companionship with your self.

But it can be very difficult to manage yourself with your partner when they themselves get overwhelmed and accuse you of so many things. So what do we do about it?

Well we should first understand that we tend to overcomplicate things. This is likely because of how vulnerable we are as children and how inadequate our influencing adults are to raise us with all the experience and wisdom we need to have lived our lives without having to do so. As such, we develop all these complex strategies for going about getting the simplest and most important of things. These behaviours often go unnoticed and unchecked, more so as we continue to use them as we grow, and with rare opportunities to see them for what they are, we largely become too caught up and ignorant to change them. So try not to hold what they do, in the way that they do it, against them, whilst applying it also unto you.

Furthermore, if you are the target of heated arguments, try and allow your name to be the name of someone like you. For, in the truest sense, they are not really talking about you as much as they are talking about an idea of you. They will not truly know who you are and you won't know them either. So let's just embrace the fact that it is very easy to misunderstand one another, and to go beyond that, is a very difficult thing to do. For the sake of getting somewhere, let your ego be the punching bag if they need it, to better use it as a tool to help each other do what needs to be done.

Now, once you can detach your ego from interpreting their accusations as offensive, you should try to see how much of what they say and do, underneath it all and at their core, is an effort to describe how much they are struggling and, in a roundabout way, not just a plea or bid for help, but an opportunity to enrich your relationship.

To help with this, especially for loved ones, you could interpret such situations as a ball to catch. They throw the ball at you and, while you could allow that ball to hit you on the head and give you a blood nose, it is probably better to develop the skills required to catch and control the ball.

To that effect, there is little sense in reasoning or problem solving with someone who has disconnected the executive function of their brain due to stress, fixation, or overwhelm. This is just what emotions do to us and all animals. So, often, when someone is in such a state, it is usually better to help them relax their nervous system first.

To do this effectively, you got to become more sensitive to the play. Read the play by measuring their overwhelm and ability to reason. For example, if you notice that, by engaging in the way that you are engaging, that their overwhelm is increasing, then you should try something different to soothe the situation.

Keep your priorities in check. The relationship you have with your partner, child, or friend is likely more important than any other thing you do. This could include your want for something, time to get something done, be somewhere, to please someone else or society, not make you look bad, and etc. Make sure that you are, in every way, prioritising the relationship first. Treat the spirit of such relationships, if you will, as its own entity through which you are aware of, consider, and work with.

Try to use genuine and reassuring actions and words like: help, working together, listening, here for you, let’s make time and space, we got this, you're doing well, and etcetera.

Try not to engage in argument. You cannot, after all, throw the ball until you have fully caught it. Then, when they feel heard, understood, and supported, they will be more receptive to reason, and you can better discuss the problem and any other issues you have with them. This becomes more efficient as they get used to you doing this more and they learn to trust the spirit of the relationship.

However, it is also important to put in proper boundaries if it becomes unkind, violent, or abusive. You are, after all, there to catch, not be torn to shreds. So make sure there are clear consequences for improper behaviour. But make sure those consequences do not obstruct their free will or leave them feeling unsupported, abandoned, or manipulated. For free will is the whole of the law. Obstruct that at your own karmic risk. Including your own.

State your difficulties, struggles, vulnerabilities, concerns, and weaknesses clearly. It requires more strength, after all, to admit, be open, and come from a place of love than it does coming from a place of ego and competition.

Ask them for help by providing them with fair and reasonable conditions for you to continue working with them. If they don’t, then leave them to it. Let your attention and support be the reward that encourages better behaviour.

Most of the time, all complications are a result of misunderstandings that can be remedied with a healthy dose of good and open cooperation. But that only works if you demonstrate, over time, the trust, integrity, compassion, and support through the relationship.

Most importantly, you do this not for any other reason than to be selfish. You do this selfishly because you are investing in the joy, sustainability, and health of your relationships. Anything else you get out of it is a bonus. Often though, I have found, in time, that whomever you do this to, they will, in kind, do this for you and others.

Sorry about the long response. There is quite a lot to it. Relationships are very tricky. I wish you all the best with it though. If you do decide to give my advice a go then let me know how you go.



We all need to begin somewhere. I like to think that since w...


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