September 1, 2015
September 1, 2015
"Where did you move my glasses to?" The question seems to imply that X saw Y take the glasses out of sight and put them elsewhere.
Often it is the assumption that someone else moved the glasses other than the owner.
The owner (in this case) forgot where they were left. Not wanting to admit that fact, it is easier to blame the other person. However, the accusations do not stop with blaming the loss of glasses, but also every other complaint that X has been compiling to add to the list of grievances.
These additional distractions will justify in the X's mind the anger if the complaint is proved not valid.
Therefore when Y points out that the glasses could not have been moved by him/herself because s/he was not home all day and had just walked in the door.
The back up distraction then comes into play to move the allegation to the collection of (supposed) misdemeanours that Y has done to cover up X's embarrassment for the first accusation.
The fight that results becomes incidental to the discussion and the consequences develop into immense proportions.
The accusation can be any thing that one imagines: the partner is having an affair, the partner does not help with household duties, the partner treats the children unfairly, etc. etc. The accusations may be true or untrue. The distractions change the original issue so that there can be no solution in that the issue is so murky, the couple have no idea what the altercation is about. It is just an emotional free for all.
Or X may be requesting that Y respect his/her priority boundaries. (For example) "Please do not smoke in my presence as it causes health problems for me." The distraction used might be, "You are always telling me what to do. You are a controller." Control issues may be elaborated on with a number of additional examples of other situations and the original problem never is resolved. However, chaos is accomplished so that the primary cause for the quarrel is buried under damaged feelings.
These tactics are seldom consciously planned; they go back to our childhood evasions. E.g. When Mom asks, "who ate the cookies?," she had made. The children chime in, "Oh look the dog is sitting on the cat!" Since Mom is busy with multiple other chores, she loses the train of thought about the cookies and disciplines the dog for teasing the cat.
The children have learned that distraction works. So as adults they automatically use that strategy to avoid taking responsibility to effectively deal with a dispute.