Is He TRYING to Make me Mad?
Does it ever seem your husband must be trying to upset you? Maybe he is.
A recently reported study finds that men often intentionally anger an opponent in order to improve their chance of winning a conflict. They rarely do this when the conflict it physical, saving the strategy for more mental competitions. This makes sense as anger can result in greater physical strength, while reducing mental performance.
The study looked at men with other men, but I would expect a “winning strategy” to be used beyond conflicts with other men. It would be nice to think no man would use this against his wife, but I doubt that is the case.
I wonder if this does not sometimes happen without the man intentionally doing it. If it has become an automatic way of winning an argument, he might do it unknowingly. Men might also intentionally use this trick when they feel out manoeuvred by their wife. Women are generally much better at communication, and maybe some husbands see this as a way of evening the odds.
The reality is you are at a disadvantage if he has made you angry. If you learn to ignore his attempts to upset you, great – but he does know all your buttons! If you feel yourself getting angry, the wisest choice might be to withdraw. Tell him you are getting angry, and you do not want to argue or make decisions while you are angry. Arrange to revisit the issue soon and ideally set a specific time.
If getting you angry just ends the discussion, he might give up on the strategy. Of course, he might also decide to use it to end discussions. If he keeps doing it, I would suggest you point it out to him. If that does not bring about a change, it may be time to get some third-party help.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I know I have done this on occasion.