You are here

When to end discussion and start telling instead of talking?

Rags's picture

In our community we regularly have situations presented where things have been discussed and addressed repeatedly to no avail between the partners in question.  Usually regarding abject failure by the partner and never ending behavioral crap perpetrated by Skids and a partners X(s).

The cycle seems to be that the discussion phase is re-entered yet again.

So, when is it time to stop discussing to no avail and start telling a partner or a Skid what they will do and that they will do it now or ..... consequecences will be applied?  When is it time to stop suffering and start controling?


grannyd's picture

When it's either 'start controlling' or leave. And it's been made sufficiently clear to the guilty party that you mean business!

Aniki-Moderator's picture

start telling a partner or a Skid what they will do and that they will do it now or ..... 

Start telling? Pffffft  You can't force people to change. Change is a choice. When a situation continually goes beyond your tolerance level, you discuss it with your partner. You compromise or go your separate ways with lessons learned.

Rags's picture

People may not be able to be forced to change, but behaviors can be forced to change. With clear direction and effective consequences for failure to comply with the direction.

Certainly going this route can end a relationship.  But, is a relationship that prepetrates behaviors that require direction and sever consequences to correct worth being in if the behaviors continue?

When it gets to this point, it is a win either way it unfolds. Either the behior changes or the perpetrator(s) of the behavior are no longer present.

IMHO, when it is at the end point, it is far easier to exit when the final solution of direction and consequence has been applied unsuccessfully than it is to end it with something left on the table that might  have worked.  Choose the behavior, choose the consequence. There is choice involved.  Finding the motivator to drive the desired choice is the challenge.



MorningMia's picture

When you recognize that the level of conflict/suffering is not going to go away unless you take action. While DH's ex exhibited manipulative attempts to control him/us when we were dating, the situation seemed manageable in part due to the geographical distance. But within two months of our wedding, she went all out Fatal Attraction on us. The only conclusion anyone could come to was that she had some sort of emotional crisis when we married and was set on breaking us. Her primary weapon was the kids, who she used as her peers and protectors, even at young ages. We navigated the land mines (with the help of a therapist) for two years before shutting her down and putting very strong boundaries in place. It was a make it or break it situation,

(Edited down to remove too much identifying info)


Merry's picture

I don't tell my spouse what HE will do. I don't control the behavior of another adult in my house.

instead, I tell him what I will do if he engages in behavior that is difficult or impossible for me to live with. That's boundary setting, and he is free to choose his own path. This approach has helped me tremendously.

With kids, the power dynamic is different, or it should be. There was a lot more telling than talking in my Family of Origin. The constant "I'll talk to the kid" with no real consequence and no hope for change, makes me a little crazy. 

Rags's picture

Yours is definately a better perspective. 

Though telling usually occurs after countless attempts to discuss and address the issue.  They always have the choice to not comply with the directive at which point the I tell him what I will do if he engages in behavior that is difficult or impossible for me to live with. comes into play.

tryingjusttrying's picture

I'm guilty of this. I can tell you that I do have baggage that prevents me from standing up for myself. I'm finding that I'm not quite confident in what I have a right to and sometimes have trouble identifying my needs. I'm kind of a people pleaser, so I find it difficult to stand up for myself in the face of displeasing others. I'm used to focusing on other people's needs and have developed my identity around helping others. So this process in dealing with blended family issues is not only helping me to identify and protect my boundaries as a SM, but it is actually helping me to grow in life. It's really refreshing to be able to tell myself that I have a right to assert boundaries for no other reason than I need it. I don't need to ask permission first.