Four months ago I wrote a post asking Are You Precipitating Drama?  I got an email saying “So… how does a husband deal with drama like crying or anger when it is used to manipulate or pressure us into making us do something that we cannot agree is right or wise?”

Husband tired of wife's drama © pathdoc |

Of course, the answer is “You do what’s right and put up with the fallout.” But that’s not exactly easy or fun.

I don’t have first-hand experience with this in my marriage (my deep gratitude to my wonderful Lori!), but I had a girlfriend who used drama early and often, so I do recall your pain. I gave in when I should not have, but there were places I held out for what was right. And when I held out it got ugly. Crying, threats, sulking, and bad scenes in public. And of course, you can also look forward to some long frigid nights in the marriage bed.

There was one time it was different. She went too far with a threat. I knew it was a threat she’d not fulfil, and it made me angry she tried it. I told her to never say that again and I left. We never discussed it, but she never used that threat again. In that incident I tripped on the answer to drama – reject it and tell her to knock it off.

All too often my girlfriend’s drama got her what she wanted, or at least, part of what she wanted. Even when she didn’t get what she wanted she made me feel bad, which worked to her benefit. However on that one occasion, she didn’t get what she wanted at all. Instead, she got me walking away, which was the last thing she wanted. Her drama cost her, and I bet she didn’t like it.

The way to deal with this is to attack her drama in general, not just when it’s an effort to get you do to something you know is wrong. Drama is a poor way to communicate or negotiate, and it’s not a path to be a better marriage.

As I said in my original post, “We do what works, what gets us results. If your wife is all about drama, ask yourself what she’s getting out of it.” The key to reducing drama is showing her it makes things worse for her rather than getting her what she wants. It’s a tough love thing and it could be a real war for a time, so make sure you are up for the long fight. Be loving, but be firm. When she avoids drama go out of your way to do what she wants; when she resorts to drama tell her drama is a sure way to get nothing from you. 

By the way: Drama and being dramatic are two different things. Some folks are just more emotive across the board. Also, realise some women cry easily but don’t mean their tears to be manipulative. 

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