Be strong. Be brave. Never succumb to a bully, even if it is someone you love deeply. To do so diminishes the value of your relationship, forever. You simply cannot live with being bullied.
A bully tries to get what they want by intimidating you and by making you feel inferior to them. This should NEVER work! Yet, so many good folks succumb to the bully—and we wonder why.
So what is a bully? In the simplest terms, a bully is someone who can’t get what he or she wants through normal means. What they want is power. When you deny them that power they can resort to forceful means to get what they want.
Here is how bullying works in love and marriage. One of the folks in the relationship wants something—be it a new car, a new apartment, a new dishwasher, or a new toy of some variety. The other person involved in the relationship does not. As you might guess, all heck breaks loose!
The bully in the relationship must get what he or she wants. So instead of acting rationally (i.e., Do we have enough money to pay for this?), the bully resorts to name-calling (“You are a hateful person for always keeping me from buying things!”), intimidation (“If you don’t let me buy this I am walking out the door.”), or they resort to making you feel inferior (“How could someone like you be so stupid?”).
Peace or turmoil? If you are like most people, you would rather have peace. So, in the interest of maintaining harmony in your relationship, you fall prey to the bullying. You give them what they want.
But here is the deal—this strategy never works! You give them what they want and they then do it to you again! You always succumb to their wishes. You always lose. Letting them win is a bad idea.
Truth is, real loving relationships are not about you and me. A loving relationship is about US! It is about WE. It does take two to Tango. You cannot Tango by yourself. Until you learn this important relationship lesson, your relationship will be doomed to failure. Finding the courage to stand up to a bully is perhaps the only way to effectively stop the bullying.
So, how do you handle the bully in your relationship?
The answer in a nutshell is, never succumb to their wishes when they resort to bullying. Keep your composure. Be strong!
The simple truth is, bullies should never be allowed to win—even if the bully is your lover or spouse. True loving relationships are about making important decisions together. Once you fall into the trap of allowing yourself to be intimidated or bullied, your relationship is headed for an irreversible demise. Rarely does a relationship recover from this.
There is NO place for bullying in any relationship. It is NOT something you can live with. These are among the most important lessons of love and of life.
*For hundreds of other tips to enhance your relationship and marriage get the best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold.
By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts