Who's the winner?
A husband and wife are going through a rough patch in their marriage. One day while discussing something, they as usual have a disagreement. The wife (it could equally be the husband) loses her cool and shouts at the top of her voice, "I'm not sure where this relationship is going. I get the feeling that you want to end this relationship. Is it so?" The husband replies,"Yes I do not like to continue with you." The wife demands to know why. The husband replies, "I will not tell you in the present mood. I'll tell you in a couple of days."
Who of the two is the playing the dominant role?
Generally speaking the person who is asking questions is (controlling) the conversation. The other person is simply "responding".
In this particular scenario the husband (neutralized) the dominance of the wife by refusing to continue to respond to her questions. It takes two to fight if one person chooses to walk away there is no fight. A lot of people may believe that the person who walked away is the one who lost.
However if he/she is done with their mate then they are the winner because they have decided to take charge of their life and (move on) from a bad relationship. Usually the person who gets what they want is the winner. In my opinion if someone wants to continue the fight/argument but is unable to then they have lost.
Having said that there are some people that might arugue the husband was being "passive agressive". If he intentionally pushed the wife's button to watch her explode and then step back calmly then he would be the dominant one since he was manipulating his wife's emotions.
My gut reaction is that the husband is playing the dominant role. The wife does not say she wants to end the marriage - it appears she does not - but is responding to signs from the husband that he is not committed to it. When she snaps and suggests this openly, he agrees but then refuses to tell her why. He's going to leave her dangling for a couple of days, no doubt hurt and distressed, before deeming to tell her why he's rejecting their marriage. That's plain nasty. I would say if she accepts that, just waiting for him to pass sentence, she's accepting that he is in control and she is entirely dependent on his wishes. Unless she decides to end it herself pronto or insist that he discusses the situation logically, she's just on the receiving end of a power game. The person who ends up yelling is not always the dominant one. Withholding warmth and/or communication is one way of controlling the other person.
@Mary Bolero - Your gut reaction is spot on and the explanation you've given is illuminating.
If the wife now decides to end the relationship, wouldn't it just peter out into a power game? Yes, sitting down and discussing the issues is the way to go.
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