When Controlling The Story’s More Important Than The Marriage
I’ve seen several marriages ends in divorce because one spouse is more concerned with the public perception of them as a spouse than making the marriage work.
Disaster is at hand when one person feels looking good, innocent, or like the victim, is more important than actually having a good marriage. Rather than putting their energy into the relationship, they spend their efforts spinning what is happening. Be it selective truth, exaggeration, or full out lying, they do what they feel they must to avoid being seen as the “bad one” in the marriage.
A common scenario of this for women is sharing with their friends only the bad things he does and only the good things she is doing. This makes him look far worse than he is and makes her seem to be the victim. This can cause her friends to say things supportive of leaving him or setting boundaries that are inappropriate. If her marriage starts to improve her friends may think she is giving in to her nearly abusive husband and try to pull her away. Her spin becomes a false version of her marriage that she may find difficult to leave.
The truth is we have all done things wrong in our marriages, and very few bad marriages are all or mostly the fault of one spouse. If someone is sharing a narrative about their marriage that makes them look great and their spouse look horrible, the odds are good they are being less than honest. A true friend gently challenges such things. Our goal should be to bring out all the truth, not what feels good for our friend to share. Wanting to control the story is human nature, but it’s wrong and destructive to a marriage.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and my story is my wife is better than I am.
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