Session 41: Gorilla warfare

Felicia’s pissed at me.

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What about?

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I’m not really sure.

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therapist-2

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Monday she said I don’t make enough money.

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th

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Tuesday she complained I’m not home enough.

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Wednesday she called me an “uninvolved father.”

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Thursday she called me a slob.

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Sounds confusing.

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Bet your ass.

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How did you respond?

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Well, let’s see. Tuesday I went in and asked my boss for a raise.

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Wednesday I came home early with flowers.

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Thursday I helped Junior with his science project.

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And Friday I did two loads of laundry and cleaned the bathroom.

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Did it work?

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No.  Now she tells me I’m fat.  What’s going on here?

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Gorilla warfare.

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Don’t you mean “guerilla” warfare?

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No, gorilla.  It’s a control thing.  Your two inner monkeys are battling it out. 

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Happens all the time in split-level relationships.*

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2*What’s this?  Click here.

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One partner seeks satisfaction by complaining or making endless demands on the other.

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The other seeks relief by trying to appease the first.  But it never works.

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Why not?

Because they’re ignoring the real problem, whatever that is.  Pretty common in couples who haven’t learned to talk to each other.

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Well, I hate feeling beat up.  What can I do?

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Less.

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Meaning…

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Give up control.  Stop appeasing her. 

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She’ll get angry.

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She’s already angry.  Same result, less work. 

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Okay.  Anything else?

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Give up control in another way.  Ask what she’s really angry about. 

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She may not know at first. That’s fine. Be patient.  Be curious.  Be brave.  Keep asking.

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That I can’t do.

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Why not?

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She might actually tell me.

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Oh.  Well, in that case…

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There’s always Weight Watchers.

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* * *


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