Excuses, Excuses

Copyright © 2008-2016 Martha Trowbridge. All Rights Reserved

Quick definition, ‘Crazy-Making’: thinking, feeling and behavior designed to drive you mad.

And what better way to drive you nuts, than barrage you with excuses? In fact, that’s The Crazy-Making Husband’s RULE #2: ALWAYS HAVE HANDY AN IMPRESSIVE ARRAY OF EXCUSES.

Your husband’s barrage of excuses has the same objective as brainwashing: to ‘break’ you. Bent on convincing you that your reaction to his bad behavior is invalid and unfair, vigorously and relentlessly he hurls one excuse after another, until he just plain wears you out.

As if this weren’t enough to endure, embedded in his excuses are outrageous demands: [1] you must totally accept his failing to do what he was supposed to do [2] you must totally forgive him, and [3] you must totally relinquish your expectations of him. Meet these three demands, he maintains, and he won’t have to resort to excuses!

Sadly, the more your Crazy-Making Husband deploys excuses, the better he gets at it.

The more strategic. The more hurtful.

What can we wives do, to protect our selves from the fallout of THE CRAZY-MAKING HUSBAND’S RULE #2?

Typical Strategic Moves of Beleaguered Wives are:

Strategic Move 1: We continue to confront him when he continues to fail to do what he promised — and continue to be subjected to aching disappointment, frustration and humiliation. Our Underlying Assumption: He’ll ‘see the light’ and abandon the folly of his ways.

Strategic Move 2: We cease all expectations — and have a marriage where reliability is non-existent, and utter loneness is assured. Our Underlying Assumption: If confrontations cease, we’ll have the energy to do everything ourselves, and not have to rely on him.

I sense you know how both these moves, over time, lead straight to your sense of utter worthlessness as a wife.

Thankfully, there’s a third Strategic Move. One that dulls the effects of his crazy-making, helps us focus properly, enables us to achieve clarity of thought, and provides us with a working model for marital sanity.

Strategic Move 3: We sit down with ourselves, and over time, take inventory of what we expect from our husbands — and the ways in which he fails us. Alone, and in discussion with trusted others, we assess which of our expectations are reasonable. We prioritize our reasonable expectations. Then we re-test them on him. We observe. We decide what we can live without. And what we CAN’T live without. Our Underlying Assumption: We strengthen our sanity by acting in reasonable self-interest, despite and amidst the crazy-making of our husbands.

Standing in the line of his excuse-fire is not merely exasperating. It is very damaging — for in his weaponizing of excuses, our sanity is attacked.

If your husband chronically deploys excuses, protect your precious self. Take a deep breath, and move aside. Faithfully practice Strategic Move 3.

The relief you’ll feel will astound you!

The Crazy-Making Husband Radio Show