We’ve all been in situations like this doting husband. Someone we care about is in a nasty mood and the atmosphere is uncomfortable. We just want everybody to be happy so we try to make the other person move into a mood that we prefer to see.
How well does that go?
The old clichés hold much wisdom and I’m reminded of “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. When we try to push someone into being or doing something else we are likely to meet with resistance and the more we try the more resistance we encounter.
In most relationships especially those that are intimate we quickly develop patterns of behaviour. We act out the same scenes over and over. Sometimes these behaviours are working well for us but in others we’re hoping to change things. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result.
This gentleman clearly loves his wife and seeing her in this bad mood has him feeling helpless and disempowered. In the previous strip he tries to stay out of her way and now he’s working hard to change where she’s “at”. He also realizes nothing he does is going to change this situation. He’s pretty much emptied his pockets of options.
How can Rose’s husband empower himself and also empower Rose?
First he must acknowledge that he cannot take responsibility for her mood. How she feels is entirely up to her and clearly she has chosen to be in this mood and stay in it for a while. And why should she not if she is not harming herself or anyone else?
Second he will empower himself by accepting her choice to stay in this bad mood and allowing her to fully experience it in her own way.
Third when he then takes responsibility for his own choices he’s going to have a much more positive experience. He can choose to stick around while she works through her feelings or do something else entirely.
The most loving thing anyone can do for someone else is allow her to be herself.
The most empowering thing anyone can do for himself is to recognize the only person’s mood he can change is his own.