It’s amazing how many couples live with grudges and resentment. These negative emotions build and create a desire for paybacks. Such paybacks aren’t only destructive to the marriage relationship, but more so to the person choosing to do the dirty deed.
Women are known to withhold sex unless the man does what she requests. Even if there’s no request made but the man has been perceived of being neglectful, she may use her sexuality to his disadvantage.
Some men see paybacks in terms of neglecting to fix something that’s needed to be fixed. Enough nagging and whining can put some men into major payback mode. It’s interesting that most paybacks in marriages are more a form of neglect, avoidance, or indifference to a task, rather than an active deed or action to do something to hurt the other person.
In extreme cases, paybacks can mean lying, cheating or stealing from the spouse. If the situation has gotten that bad, major counseling is needed. For this article we’re only dealing with the subtleties of emotional paybacks.
Most people reach a certain threshold and then they shut down. At that moment of shut down, the payback mode often kicks in. If a grudge is held, it’s more likely that a payback of some sort will be issued. This may be the silent treatment, or it may mean drudging up past transgressions committed that the spouse is still hurting over. Sometimes it might mean no dinner is fixed or a pile full of dirty dishes is left in the sink.
To avoid holding grudges and getting in a mode to “payback” your spouse in an unkind manner, determine in advance you will communicate your hurt immediately. Don’t let negative emotions fester under the surface. Talk things out. Ask for forgiveness if you’re at fault. Forgive if you’ve been the victim of the payback.
No one likes to be the victim of a payback, so if you’re tempted to payback your spouse with some mean word or act of neglect, remind yourself that their payback may be twice as bad. Avoid getting to that point by practicing the golden rule. Can you imagine how much great marriages might be if people did just that?