You will have silently asked yourself this question many times. You will have asked it of friends and family as you recount the latest confusing bout of behaviour from us. You may even go so far as to ask us why we make everything so difficult. Your confusion stems from several places. First of all, life really ought to be a bowl of cherries and straight forward. You have a good house, two cars on the drive, you get to go on holiday, there are no real concerns about the bills, the jobs seem safe.
You are not rich but you are in a fortunate position. Everybody in the family enjoys good health, you have two wonderful children and extended family are supportive and play a part in your life. You once got along famously, brilliantly, a complete match made in heaven which shows that it can be done and therefore that suggests, does it not, that this can be resurrected and returned to, if only he wanted to and tried to do it. Going beyond this you give everything to the relationship. You have not changed. You remain devoted, loving, working hard for the family unit both in the office and at home.
You make our meals, you suggest days out, you attend to the laundry and the housework with little assistance in return. You know that you give more of yourself to us, emotionally and in terms of dedication to the concept of our relationship and the family and truth be told you do not begrudge doing so.
You have always been a giver and you derive pleasure in seeing other people content and happy knowing that you have played a part in it. Whilst it would be lovely to receive some affection from time to time you could live without it, if you are completely honest, if only we did not make everything so difficult.
You cannot understand why we make life so hard. There is nothing to be upset or concerned about. Indeed, with your tolerance and giving nature, we have surely landed on our feet. Your friends tell you that given everything you do for us we ought to drop to our knees and worship you when you come through the door in the evening.
You laugh at such suggestions, since you are far too modest, but inside you do wish that there could be some acknowledgement, some thanks for everything you do. It does not have to be reciprocated, you are content with that role, but if only we would accept this massive advantage that we have and not spoil things, cause arguments and bring discord when there really is no need.
You could understand it if you actually did something wrong but you do not, you know you don’t. From time to time you do find yourself analysing what you do and wondering if perhaps it is you that causes these sudden mood-swings, the lashing out, the sulking silences and the irritation. Once in a while you think you might have done something wrong and you apologise and make amends, not that it seems to get you anywhere.
At times you think you would be better off if you came in drunk, kicked the dog and demanded that we make you something to eat before falling asleep in front of the television. Perhaps if you came in full of thunder and gave us a slap we might respect you more, because it seems that your dedication and subservience get you none. This thought tumbles through your mind often but you know you could not behave like that, because it is not you, but it does make you wonder what you need to do to gain our respect, our interest and our love once again, like it once was.
You cannot understand why someone would choose to be so difficult and so often. We have every advantage. Why not be content with that and life a wonderful life with a delightful family and doting spouse? Surely that is far easier than causing chaos, pandemonium and upset? Not only do these storms come out of nowhere, you just cannot understand why someone would behave like that towards someone that we supposedly love and care about. It makes no sense, no sense whatsoever, but you are not going to give up. You are not a quitter. You will work out what it is and then make the appropriate changes so that life really is a bed of roses.
How often have you felt this way? Many times I should imagine. It is extraordinary and unbelievable that we almost choose a life of conflict over what could be a peaceful and enjoyable life. This makes no sense to you at all. The fact is that we do not choose to cause confusion and chaos, we have to. Admittedly, we choose the degree and extent, the Greater of our kind doling out particularly savage and heinous machinations which increase the pain and misery, but all of us, whether Lesser, Mid-Range of Greater do not choose a life of conflict with you, our intimate partner, it has to happen.
We need to create drama because we feed off the emotional output generated by you in response to that drama and this provides us with fuel. It has gone beyond the point where we could rely on your admiration, love and affection, that has become stale although we do not dismiss it out of hand.
In order to make that admiration, love and affection seem shiny and new (if only for a short while) we must create the drama, the downside and the conflict in order so there is a contrast. This contrast will allow us to reinstate our “good side”, the golden period and things will seem wonderful for a period of time but then the stale sensation returns once again.
Thus the conflict must be resumed. You have no control over this. No matter how hard you try to please us, to accommodate us and to do the things that we like, this unquenchable need for fuel means that the roller coaster will not stop. There is often no logic to it, from your perspective. You may notice certain behaviours which tell you that the storm is about to be unleashed but often you will not know.
This is because what triggers the storm is the ignition of our fury which is caused by your criticism of us. Those criticisms are usually more likely to be perceived by us than actual on your behalf and this means you will always struggle to identify them. Believe me, a simple “Hello, how are you?” can trigger the storm. In our world we regard this simple and pleasant greeting as unnecessary questioning and the suggestion that there is something wrong. If there is something wrong, then that is a criticism.
This is why we seem to erupt over “nothing”. It is nothing in your world but in ours there has been a criticism and this ignites our fury with the resulting shouting, nastiness, sulking and silent treatments. There is no pattern to this behaviour. Once cannot say it is three weeks good one week bad. You may have months of the reinstated golden period before another tornado tears through your life. It may be a succession of tornadoes each and every single day for a month.
It will always leave you confused and bewildered as to why we behave this way when there is so much good in our lives, so much to enjoy and look forward. As ever this is because you are looking at the world from your perspective. From ours it is vastly different. We do not choose to make life difficult, we have to.