Who would ever think that their spouse could be their bully? As spouses you are suppose to be friends with each other. You are suppose to be together in love and peace. Together you are suppose to share your life for as long as you are blessed to be alive. However how many of us are living daily with a bully.
I know some of you are thinking that will never be my marriage. My spouse loves me and will never attempt to push me around. Many times when a spouse is a bully the other spouse is not aware of it. The spouse that does the bullying will demand their own way the majority of the times but will do it in such a way that the spouse that's being bullied will just see it as his or her right. For example: you are watching something on TV that you have been waiting for all week. You are enjoying the program and then during the commercial break you go and get you a drink. When you come back your spouse has turned the station to the game.
You say "dear I was watching my show I've been waiting all week to see it. Please turn it back." He looks at you and simple states that the game is on and that he always watches the game on that TV. You pick up your popcorn and drink and go upstairs to the bedroom to watch the show that you have been waiting to see. When you get up there you find out that he is recording another show. You come back down and state that you have been wanting to see this show all week and now not only has he turned it from the main TV he is recording on the only other TV in the house. He doesn't care and continue with his game and will not stop the recording.
You missed your show because he will not give up what he wants and thinks nothing of it. You are so use to giving in that you just accept it and either watch the game with him or do something else. This example is speaking about the male spouse this can also happen with the female spouse as well. The husband may want to go out with his friends for a game of basketball. He won't go because every time he wants to do something it will be a big argument. The husband is made to feel guilty because he may want some time bonding with his male friends. However when the wife wants to go shopping with her girlfriends then nothing is to be said.
This is selfishness and a form of bullying. When we look up the word bullying it is defined as the following: Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants. To be a marital bully does not mean that you have to put your hands on the other spouse or is verbally rude. It could just be forcing the other spouse to give into your wishes when they would rather do otherwise but goes along with your forcefulness. This is not the way a spouse should act. Many times the bully in the relationship may not realize that is what he or she is doing.
They have been so use to getting what they want that they can't see that their actions are not in unity with the ways of a Godly union. We have to take control of our actions. We must remember that its no longer just about our own personal wants. Many times one spouse will ask for expensive gifts or toys. They may want a motorcycle,or race car. They may want a designer purse or shoes worth more than both of your paychecks put together. The bully will keep pushing until they get what they want. Once they get the latest want or toy they use it once and then never again. Nevertheless the payments on the toy is still coming out of the joint account.
This places strain on the marriage and then one day the bullied spouse may wake up and feel used or abused.He or she does not feel that you are treating them like a friend. They feel like they are always giving and never getting anything in return. Lets look at the definition of a friend. A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. So what we need to look at in marriage is that we need to look at our spouse as a friend. We have to treat them in brotherly love.
We have to share mutual affection and develop a bond that does not include sexual intimacy or a sense of family. We have to treat each other with respect. We don't push our way on our spouse just because we can. We must consider each other's feelings, needs and wants. It's not fair to always want expensive things when the house needs other things. It's not fair to hog all of the TV's or the best one when your spouse has been looking at it first. One spouse should not always state what can be watched on the TV, or what movie they will go to the theater to see. If one spouse gets to pick what should be eaten in the house or where they must go every time they go out then that spouse is using a form of bullying.
Marriage is a union. Your spouse should be your best friend and true friends try to please each other. True friends love you no matter what is going on or how you act. They are able to tell you about yourself in a loving way and you still know that they care. They are there for you and at times allow you to have your way as you allow them to have theirs. Your spouse has an even bigger role. Your spouse is your mate, lover, lifetime partner, and your best friend. Your mate is your gift from God and must be treated in a gentle and holy way.
Remember that marriage is a forward moving work in motion. You must always look for ways to improve our relationship with each other. Check your actions. Look to see if you are acting like a friend or a bully. Watch how your spouse responds to you. If you are the spouse who sees that bullying maybe going on then stop right then and there and talk to your spouse. Let him or her know how you feel. Use "I" words so that its understood that this is how you see it and how you feel. If you are the one doing the bullying then listen and then look at yourself, your motives, and actions from your spouse point of view and make changes.
If its to the point where intervention is needed then go to your pastor, marriage mentor or ministry, or Christian counselor. If you find yourself doing this then let your spouse know that you love them and then find ways that will make him/her know that they are loved and that their needs are important to you. The union of marriage is a covenant relationship and God is the center of that relationship. If you have doubts about your action then turn to your bible and read what God has to say about how a couple should live in holy matrimony.
Always develop checks and balances in your marriage so you will be alerted to any chance of a red flag. When that flag is seen then stop and redirect your relationship to a Godly stable unit for life. So I go back to my original question:
My spouse bully or friend?