About three years into her marriage, Lisa had spoken to her husband Tom about his controlling and "bossy" behavior. As Lisa described, "He was a Major in the army and he'd walk in the door, toss his briefcase and jacket on a chair and start giving orders as if he was at work...Then he started doing this to our four-year-old son. Even though I talked to him about this many times, he didn't show any signs of changing."
Lisa told friends that she loved and respected her husband and truely believed that he loved her with all she is. She also said he had many fine traits and, despite his tendency to "bring work home with him" in a negative way, she felt he could overcome that with effort and learn to be an excellent husband and father.
"So one day I had his bag packed and sitting on his favorite chair. I explained that I needed him to move out until he was ready to treat me and treat our son with respect." He stayed at the army barracks and called home every night, asking when he could come back. After two weeks I said 'OK, let's give it a try.' He never acted like a drill sergeant in our home again."
They´ve been married for 58 years. Lisas underlying advice is sound. She spoke with her husband only a few times about his controlling, domineering behavior - but nothing changed. This was a non-negotiable issue for Lisa. In other cases she was willing to compromise in her marriage, but this she wasn't going to accept: being treated like an errant army private. She had too much dignity and inner strength to stay in a marriage she found oppressive. Important note: Lisa wasn't bluffing! She was very concsious that her marriage could have ended when she demanded that her husband change his behavior or permanently leave.
No secret, what she advices us to always remember: "Know WHAT you're willing to compromise about and what you're not. Be clear with yourself so that you can have your relationship and your dignity. You should be able to have both."
04. Dez. 2008