Way back in the day I was at my best friend’s then girlfriend’s (now wife) house fairly often. Her sister J would give me a hard time every single time I was there. Looking back I think she was somewhat interested me, but just Fitness Tested me into the ground as a form of enjoyment. I was quite attracted to her, but the regular bitch-hazing she gave just ruled her out on that level. Plus she smoked so ewww.
One time I visit and completely out of character, before J could even say anything to me, I just unloaded on her a fairly roughly spoken one liner. The words leaving my mouth before I fully realized I was saying them.
“So J, are we speaking to each other today?”
Not terribly imaginative was it, but apparently it did the trick as J was stunned into silence and gave me no trouble whatsoever that whole day. I heard after the fact that my short sharp bitchslap was discussed and referred to for some time afterwards and while J still teased me, it was never again unpleasant.
Looking back, that day I didn’t even pass a Fitness Test, I just assumed one was coming and threw up some Shields. Today was don’t-fuck-with-Athol-day. Any other day, sure, pick on me, but today I’m coming in with my Shields up and weapons charged with pent up pissed off.
Half the trouble Nice Guys have in their marriages, is that they are mentally trapped into being so nice to everyone, all the time, that they are in reality always somewhat annoyed at something. That annoyance is often never expressed until it’s really too late to do anything constructive about what’s bothering them, and it all just comes out in a giant Victim Puke of incoherent rage. Instead, they keep up the Nice Guy Care Bear routine and mask it all and pretend everything is just… fine.
If you’ve had a truly shitty day at work, are mentally exhausted and can’t really take anymore of anything… walking through the front door of your house like nothing much is wrong and immediately falling into a Nice Guy routine with your wife, simply invites her to add one more demand to your day. If that’s a Fitness Test she throws at you – an unreasonable request and/or unreasonable tone – then you mentally toss up between exploding on her (which you can’t do because you’re terrified of her leaving you), or simply folding and complying with her demands. You’ve got no defense you can muster up. So you fold.
What is vastly better to do, is actually release some of that annoyance / anger / rage, into useful defensive Shields. If your expressing moderate bad temper because your personal boundaries have already been crossed today, your wife is much less likely to decide to cross your person boundaries that day too. After all, she doesn’t want to unleash all your pent up pissed off about other things, onto her as well.
What is very important to understand though, is this is not an aggressive tactic. You aren’t angry at her, you are simply angry and not in the mood to be messed with. You are in fact trying to calm down and relax. You’re taking space. You aren’t seeking conflict. You’re grabbing your boxing gloves and heading down into the basement and going smack-smack-smack-SMACK smack-smack-smack-SMACK SMACK! SMACK! while listening to some bad-ass testosterone music. She’s not coming down there to ask you to re-hang curtains tonight.
Now you can’t run this routine every single day because it gets old fairly quickly. But you can certainly stop bundling up all your rage into a tiny ball and trying to give yourself cancer somewhere. Relax a little, let some of it out. The most likely thing to happen is that by acting as a stereotypical testosterone fueled male… she’ll actually be more sexually responsive than usual. Women can quite enjoy being on the receiving end of a man who is a bit worked up, it’s a close cousin to dominance.
And just repeating this one more time in case someone doesn’t get it. If she’s not the cause of the anger, don’t direct the anger at her. You’re consciously trying to express the anger, but direct it away from her. If she wants to get in there and offer ways to help calm you down, then that’s fine, but generally you’re suggesting she backs off a bit.
It’s also doesn’t have to be all dramatic either. See how far looking annoyed and frowning a bit gets you first.