Opinion

How to dismantle ticking time-bomb with an angry partner

"SWEAT broke out on his brow, his shirt was damp with perspiration. He looked at the complex tangle of confused wiring, and swallowed dryly. Which wire to cut, the red one or the green one. Which one to choose, which one to diffuse the bomb, and which one to set it off. Slowly he reached forward with the cutters in hand…"

There are many men out there who have been in this situation.

It may not have been as dramatic as a Hollywood thriller, or a best-selling crime novel, but it was probably more tense.

It was the time when a man faced his wife or partner, and she was really, really angry.

Men who find themselves in this situation often may start to question themselves about what to do or what to say next.

Do the wrong thing, and it may all blow up in his face.

But with any good thriller, there is always a before story, the lead up to this tense climax.

For many women that 'before' moment can stretch on for a very, very long time.

It can be connected with all sorts of other issues in their lives; flows and cascades of emotion, pressures and meanings, expectations and disappointments.

Men don't always get this. For many men, doing the washing up is just doing the washing up. What's the big deal?

"Perspiration dripped from the end of his nose. Which wire to cut…?"

Some men will hear a voice in their head, perhaps one that sounds a lot like their mother, from their childhood, perhaps saying words like "Not with the good scissors!"

Sometimes this may cause them to hesitate, to pull back and doubt that they have the right tools to handle the situation. Some men will even clam up and not say or do anything, frozen with fear.

Some men will run from the situation, hoping to get to a safe distance, not wanting to look back at the carnage that they have created.

"The red wire or the blue wire? The countdown ticks down towards zero…"

In the meantime the pressure is building.

The man has got this woman in front of him building towards the big blow-up.

If only he can figure out the right thing to say, or the right thing to do. Then she will calm down, surely…

"He lunges forwards, now so desperate he is only acting on instinct. He reaches out and cuts the yellow wire…"

He then blurts out what his position was, and the fantastic reasons for what he did.

He explains with emphasis why he was right and why she was wrong. He justifies his position and asserts his righteousness.

"Ka-Booom!!!"

Oh dear. Wrong wire.

The woman then goes ballistic.

It is what happens next which gets really interesting.

Because if the man can stand there at ground zero, in a state that is centred, supportive, self-assured and offering loving understanding, then it is possible for him to withstand the blast.

For a man who can retain his sense of self, his composure, his caring support, then the result is that his woman can then feel like it is alright to explode, that she does not have to contain it all.

That she does not need to compromise herself or let someone manipulate her into cutting one of her wires in order to calm down and be a good girl.

It makes it okay for the woman to express.

The result is that after the shockwaves have died down, and the ears stop ringing, the woman is able to feel like she is respected. More than this, she will respect the man more.

Rather than make her wrong, rather than take the explosion as being a personal attack, he can then face her, clear eyed and calm, and then to express how he feels about the situation.

Hopefully he will use his words wisely and clearly.

It takes a certain kind of man to be able to handle a wild and powerful woman.

Some men invite this to be an experience of pain.

Some men just don't have the courage to face it.

But some men can trust themselves enough to be able to stand in the heat, even when it can turn up in its intensity.

Paul Stewart is a personal coach with Compassion Coaching: www.compassioncoaching.com.au, and also supports the inSight Men's Circle, run through Hopelink: 07 4979 3626.

Topics:  gladstone, man alive, men's health, opinion




Here's 7 really cool jobs up for grabs in Gladstone

Reef off Heron Island - Courtesy of GAPDL

Ever wanted to live and work on an island?

Watch our reporter squirm taking on death by chicken wings challenge

Could you take on Central Lane Hotel's death by chicken wing challenge?

Could you take on Gladstone's death by wings challenge?

Teen "laughs hysterically" in short-lived dash from cops

FILE PHOTO: Gladstone Courthouse, Yarroon St.

Laughing escapee gets more jail time when she flees Gladstone police

Latest deals and offers

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

FBI investigating Leslie Jones website hack

The FBI are investigating Leslie Jones' personal website hack

Katy Perry: 'I stay normal with therapy'

Katy Perry says she relies on therapy to help her 'stay normal'

World's highest-paid actor revealed

The highest-paid actors in the world have been revealed

Jessica Alba regrets her tattoos

Jessica Alba regrets getting her tattoos

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson highest paid actor in world

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Johnson earned almost $20 million more than Jennifer Lawrence

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

"If a big project was announced tomorrow I wouldn't want to see it"