“We need to talk,” and “We’re not going to talk about it,” are two controlling statements that place a person into the role of a parent and not a partner. These statements frequently are uttered by the female in the relationship as an attempt to gain the upper hand and have the final say. This rarely turns out very well.
The first statement usually is made either when a woman wishes to define the relationship or to address something he has done that displeases her. Men have learned to cringe upon hearing this statement and many will scramble to find something else that will occupy them so that they do not have to endure the woman’s wrath.
The second statement often is used when people wish to stonewall their partner and have the final say in the argument. Essentially the person is saying that he or she does not care about the other person’s feelings, opinions, evidence, or arguments, and that the case is closed and there is no room for discussion. This is something a frustrated parent will say whether he or she knows best, wants to underline the parent-child boundaries and remind the youngster of the person who has the upper hand, or because the parent wants to let the child know that there will be no further discussion on the matter. This is not how partners should treat each other.
When it comes to teaching obedience to children, using the term, “Because I said so,” as an answer to a child’s inquiry is extremely dangerous. This is because it is teaching the child a blind obedience. Answers must always be provided for children, otherwise they will make mistakes in order to discover those answers, or they will develop the deadly habit of obeying anyone’s orders without exercising critical thinking. In your absence, they will look for leaders instead of leading themselves, and they will blindly follow orders, whether they are from corrupt officials or tyrannical leaders. This is not how America was begun; this is why America is dying. Always provide an answer for a question.
Treating a partner with the same parental upper hand will backfire because it targets the child in the other partner, not the adult. This will cause more frustrations for both people because the child partner will act out in disobedience and do frustrating things like being passive-aggressive, deliberately disappointing the parental partner, or being unfaithful. The parental partner will increase the pressure and find himself or herself even more angry and frustrated because the opposite of what they wish to accomplish is taking place.
No one wishes to be married to his or her parent. Being a drill sergeant and using directness and stonewalling will always backfire. You may feel all-powerful, but you will leave the room fully unaware that you have lost the unspoken battle and that you have hammered yet another nail into your coffin. Watch out!
Be a partner and not a parent.
Danica De La Mora
Photo by CottonBro.