4 signs your spouse is a bully

Jan 07, 2021 1:31 pm

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Excellent ... it worked. The subject line made you open the email.


Now that you're here, what I really want you to know is four signs YOU are bullying your spouse.


First, let's define our term.


To bully is to habitually seek to harm or intimidate those whom you perceive as vulnerable.


With that definition in mind, here are four signs you're bullying your spouse:


  1. Your "jokes" hurt -- and you know it
  2. You use power, relationships, and/or resources to get your way
  3. You use confidential or damaging information as leverage
  4. You won't forgive


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1. Your "jokes" hurt -- and you know it

It has been said that humor allows you to make a point without drawing blood. If your "comedic genius" is on display at your spouse's expense, and you won't chill after being told it hurts, you're bullying your spouse.


2. You use power, relationships, and/or resources to get your way

Ever been in a situation where a someone used his/her position, money, relationships, possessions or other resources to bend you to their will? That's blatant intimidation. If you're using sex, money, your children, or anyone/anything else to get your way with your mate, you're being a bully.


3. You use confidential or damaging information as leverage

Everybody has dirt on somebody. If we're fortunate, the person who knows the details of our mess is honorable enough to a) keep it confidential, and b) not hold it against us. You know something about your mate that would crush him/her if it was shared. When you hold that information over his/her head to get your way, you're bullying your mate.


4. You won't forgive when asked

I didn't have this one in mind when I started writing, and even now I'm considering how I really feel about this. I think not forgiving your mate could be considered a form of bullying because you have the power of forgiveness (to show mercy). In other words, when you've been hurt, you hold the cards because your forgiveness allows your mate to "re-enter" a place of peace with you. If your mate is truly sorry for what he/she did, you're both vulnerable (re-read the bully definition). You're vulnerable by what was done, and your spouse is vulnerable because he/she is in your debt. When you choose not to forgive, you're intimidating to your mate (whether you intend it or not), which is a sign of bullying.


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Look through the four items above and consider if you're bullying your mate. If you are, take steps to stop it. If you're not, stay alert because it's not hard to slide into any of these defeating behaviors.


Kevin


ps - Two days left to complete the 2021 Marriage Reflection (click here). Join the other couples who have charted a plan for this new year.


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