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Violence in “D” Major

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Dear Jack, there is just something about a very simple, heartfelt sincere apology. If you’ve offended her, simply say sorry. Don’t try and justify it, just say sorry. The tone of apology matters. A defensive tone will not work. Neither will a justification tone. The point of saying I’m sorry is not the point for self-justification. You can’t genuinely say, “I’m sorry” shouting either. It’s incongruent. It sounds more like, “I’ve been telling you I’m sorry and if you can’t accept it, then do whatever you like!” Or, “You’re exasperating me, I said I’m SORRY!” That’s not being sorry, that’s making a point.

A soft answer turns away wrath. That means when you offer apology with a hard tone you’re only going to get the other person angrier. And it is this which leads to protracted disagreement and unhappiness in marriage. It is at this point parties stop talking to each other and a debacle is created. A particular couple has refused to talk to each other for over 3 months now. They leave notes on their refrigerator door. That’s a stalemated marriage. It’s incredibly hard to break such impasse unless someone is ready to be humble.
Stubbornness reads humility as humiliation. If the parties are extremely stubborn things can only go down from there. The parties will create a separate existence, and the more they exist apart the more their lives will drift apart. And so it’s not usually the original issue that creates what leads to an impasse in marriage. It’s usually the tone and the language used to complain about the complaint. It’s the reaction to a partner’s complaint and the tone used that leads to impasse in marriage. Watch your tone when your partner makes a complaint. Unwatched you may arrive at an impasse. Even if she makes her complaint in anger, the tone of your response is what is critical. If you angrily respond, or pursue justification, things are going to escalate and when things escalate in a marriage there’ll be tension headache.

Both parties will be using incredible energy to maintain their stance, and even to understand the other person’s reaction. There’ll be depression, so much unhappiness… The parties will be locked up in an emotional cul de sac. Because both parties are angry, the softness of answer required to break the logjam will be missing. It’s why a simple, sincere, unreserved, unconditional apology is best. The headache and sadness from the tension generated in a disagreement is not worth it. Quarrels drain us emotionally. You’ll be emotionally and physically tired. Let me quote a modern translation of what Solomon wrote: “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Now you understand why things escalate and tempers flare every time you have disagreement. Peterson’s translation is even more interesting:
“A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” Now you see how violence can result from a simple disagreement – at what point things turn to violence.

Violence must be avoided in a marriage at all costs. It’s a dangerous progression. Very dangerous. Anything can happen when violence is employed in marriage, whether by the man or by the woman. All that’s required to make things get really ugly is for the other party to react in anger to that violence. And then you have an amphitheater of violence in the marriage. God help everyone from then on. A blow landed can never be retracted from the psyche. In marriage, violence procures further violence. And when violence in marriage escalates to a square root of itself, death is calling. Never cross the line of violence in your marriage. Or in anything for that matter. If you find yourself getting seriously worked up, walk away. Avoid the temptation of landing a shut-up blow. Just walk away. It’s very hard for a marriage to reset itself after violence has been introduced.

Extreme love mixed with extreme violence is even worse. It breeds a pathetic sickness of the mind. One moment the couple are beating each other up, the next they’re having make-up sex – until the next escalation. And the cycle of violence continues and a love–hate relationship develops. Highly unhealthy. That kind of relationship damages people. They want each other but are dangerous to each other. They’re tired of what they’re doing to each other, yet can’t leave each other. And so they keep brutalizing themselves, brutalizing their psyches, turning themselves into animals. When a relationship gets to that point, it’s best the parties leave each other, before someone winds up in the mortuary. I repeat, don’t ever cross the line of violence in your marriage.

Now I know you both love each other. Just ignore some of those things she said about both of you parting. She didn’t mean it in that sense. She was only reaching out for your re-assurance. You have to be able to distinguish what is genuinely her issue from what she’s saying in anger. And you have to distinguish even that from her reaching out to you for assurance, only in a reverse mode. You have to dwell with your wife according to knowledge, just like Peter said. Just talk it over. Let her have her say, and you have your say. Sometimes some of the violent outbursts are from repressed communication. And after it all, when both of you have had your resolution, give her the assurance she needs.

Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder |

Tags : violence, arguments
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