Copyright 2008 Muffy Gibson
THE CRAZY-MAKING HUSBAND
TITLE: Keyword: Reality-Adverse
If you can characterize your husband as 'reality-adverse', he's a Crazy-Making Husband. When his reality, your reality, and the reality of your family are, at best, hazy images he immediately parks far off in the outskirts of his mind, make no mistake: your sanity is in peril.
Of all experiences The Crazy-Making Husband encounters, reality is his most despised. Why is reality so awful for him? Simply because it's dismally different from the foolishness he cradles in his head. For starters, in stark contrast to his imagined stellar persona, at every turn, reality mirrors back his failures, his lackings, and the fallout of his annoying behavior. What's more, if he gives it so much as a glance, reality shouts at him. It even makes demands. Which, of course, he projects onto you, his poor crazed wife.
Reality also requires that he fully engage in his life, which of course he cannot and will not agree to do. Since birth, The Crazy-Making Husband has carried great entitlement. His pride in this entitlement is far-reaching and profound. Like the man in Frank Sinatra's famous song, he takes great satisfaction in proclaiming "I did it MY WAY."
Because he cannot bear to face reality, any reminders of it from his wife meet with ferocious opposition. How dare she attempt to distort his self-image! How dare she attempt to change him! What's most important -- and utterly devastating to The Crazy-Making Husband -- how dare she not see in him what he so clearly sees -- perfection!
What is the reality of The Crazy-Making Husband? It is twofold: inner and outer. His inner reality teems with heroism, considerable self-sacrifice, and plight -- as his wife's scapegoat. His outer reality is downright dangerous, what with the world intensely envious of him, his wife a manipulator and demanding witch, and the dreadful pain of his under-esteemed life.
As years pass, and his life is glaringly less glowing than his fantasies, The Crazy-Making Husband is compelled to seek greater and greater reinforcement for his lofty self-opinion. When he is met by greater and greater disappointment from his weary wife, of course, this spells trouble. Hence, his efforts at crazy-making increase, as he secretly hopes to push her to the brink, to disable her reality-seeking admonitions.
What's a wife to do? Attempt to crack the suit of steel that fiercely defends against reality, his dark invader? Live at loggerheads with him, and be repeatedly bruised by your conflicts? Or try to manage your family's future without him -- and, in the process, nearly die of exhaustion, overwhelm and bitter loneliness?
Your answer lies in looking ahead. What kind of future will you have with him? As you ponder, consider this: The Future is The Crazy-Making Husband's greatest fear of all. If and when he dares to peek at The Future, any presence other than his Overblown Self looms menacingly. That's why The Crazy-Making Husband regards Rule #10 as vitally important: WHENEVER YOUR WIFE NAGS YOU ABOUT THE FUTURE, CLOSE YOUR EYES AND IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT HER, HOW MUCH SIMPLER - AND QUIETER -- IT WOULD BE.
If you suspect your husband qualifies as crazy-maker, here's a simple test: reality-check yourself by checking his keywords. Take a good, long, square look at him -- and his typical behavior. Be honest. Does 'reality-adverse' describe him?
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