where their partner has done cruel and hateful things to them,
but these people never stand up for themselves.
What has to happen to the non-when person before she says, “when?” What has to happen for her to say, “Stop! I don’t deserve to be treated this way. I have had enough pepper!” What has to happen to cause her to stop taking all the blame, and demand that her partner share some responsibility for the condition of the relationship? What will have to happen for it to not always be one person doing all the giving and changing – where it is reciprocal? What will have to happen for her partner to begin thinking in terms of “we” instead of “I” about their relationship?
When we observe the non-when person, we see her self-image deteriorating and we sense a real sadness because she has not valued herself.
And then there is the person who continues the grinding and pouring the pepper of hurt and dishonor upon his partner even after she has said, “when.” The “pepper grinder” person doesn’t love; he would rather manipulate and control than strive for intimacy. He doesn’t consider her dreams, her needs, or her family because it is all about making him happy. If he is not happy, it is not his fault, but hers. He sees himself as the victim as he grinds more and more pepper upon her. Because he thinks she needs to do the changing, he never assumes responsibility for his actions.
The truth is, if a person doesn’t own or take responsibility for their actions, they will not change.
Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through www.amazon.com.
Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700