Anonymous left this comment on the post "My husband is being mean to me again."
Men seem to act like children and it seems we have to treat them like a child when they throw temper tantrums. No wonder Women are more dominantly the smarter sex. We do not act immature and childish and pitch fits when we don't get our way. I am getting so sick of my husband's negativity and put downs and being rude and demeaning. It creates such contempt that is hard for me to push aside. My husband needs mental help and counseling but of course he does not think so... He was raised by a very abusive mother who was also drug addicted and very verbally abusive as well. His father had mental issues too. Jeez, anyone raised in that type of environment would need counseling.
A. B. Curtiss response:
Men who have traumatic childhoods are dealing with a great deal of repressed fear. But they don't know they are afraid, they think the other person is wrong, or an asshole or stupid. This is the way they protect themselves in ambiguous, or uncomfortable situations. They are trying to control the other person so that they don't get blindsided again. Fear is very painful to feel and unless you make a conscious effort to get in touch with your repressed fear you project it onto others in the form of your criticism of them.
These men don't trust that they are really and truly loved. It makes a guy kind of mean at times. A person who feels truly loved and cherished is comfortable with things as they come up, even uncomfortable things because they have this solid base of feeling they are worthy.
So what can you do. You can love them anyway and learn how to protect yourself when the rampages start. If you can keep from getting angry at them for their fear, you may even be able to help them a little. I have been married to one of these men for more than 60 years. I dearly love my husband, although there were many years when I couldn't get past all this and was not so loving in my general attitude toward him. I have tried to encourage his good traits and since I am no longer afraid of his rampages, he has softened a great deal. It is a vicious cycle. As he softens, I am more loving and as I can be more loving, he softens more.
The big problem is getting rid of preconceived notions of how things "should be" and being able to be comfortable with the unexpected.When we spend so much effort wanting "something else" that we can fail to appreciate what might be at hand. If we are both stubborn we end up playing the loser's game of "you be reasonable first." We can always decide to be reasonable. There is just no downside to being reasonable first.