Don’t Be A Bolt Out of the Blue
A bolt out of the blue is a lightning bolt that strikes without warning from what seems to be a clear blue sky.
I often see a bolt out of the blue destroy a marriage. One spouse has been upset or unhappy for months or years. They think they have communicated their frustration and their spouse is ignoring them. In truth, their spouse has not heard them or has not heard how bad it is. So when the unhappy spouse says “I’m leaving” or gives an ultimatum, it feels like a bolt out of the blue. This feels unfair to the spouse on the receiving end, and that makes resolving the problem even less likely.
I know, I know, your husband doesn’t listen to you. Part of that is no doubt him, but some of it may be you. He’s not one of your girlfriends, and he doesn’t hear what you say the way they do. He may have stopped listening to your “complaints” because he thinks you will never be satisfied. Or, maybe you have made ultimatums in the past and then backed off when he didn’t change – making any future ultimatums worthless.
If it’s so bad you feel you will reach the point of not being able to keep going, please find a way to communicate that to him ASAP. Something written would be a good way to do this; you can say exactly what you need to say without interruption and he can go over it as many times as he needs to understand it. Keep it simple, a few points with a very few examples. The more words you use the less he will hear. Don’t dilute what you really need him to hear with less important issues. If you’ve given empty ultimatums in the past, acknowledge that. If you feel you need to give an ultimatum now, make it crystal clear what you expect and when you expect it. (For more on ultimatums, see here.)
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I want to watch lightning, not be struck by it.