1) Learn to expect a reaction—When it’s cloudy and humid, you don’t put on your suede jacket and curse mother nature for screwing you over when it starts to rain, but this is what many men do in relationships with women. Your fear about her reactivity AND your resulting denial about the possibilities that she will be upset, compel you to behave in provocative ways. In fact, she is often responding more to what you have consciously or unconsciously done to avoid upsetting her, then what you were afraid might upset her in the first place. In this way, you create more of what you say you don’t want.
Bring an umbrella. Learn to expect a reaction anytime you change what has become an expected pattern of interacting or unspoken agreement between you. For example:
- You usually spend Friday nights with her and suddenly you can’t
- You need to take more time for yourself
- You suddenly become less attentive to her for any variety of good reasons
If any of the above take place, there’s a good possibility (unless you are with a very mature person) that she will be upset. If you’ve been with your partner for a while, you can get a good sense of what types of things upset her. If you have a hunch that what you need to do or say will bring it on, prepare for it. This will make it much easier for the both of you.