High conflict couples wrangle over any number of issues but often at the root is a power struggle. Who will control whom? For over twenty years marriage therapist and family conflict mediator Erik Johnson has been helping couples negotiate control issues and arrive at a more equitable balance of power.
This book contains lists and one and two page strategies that help controllers control less, the overly compliant comply less, and couples work to together with clear communication patterns. Emotionally walled off spouses are often walled off because they’ve felt controlled. Controlling spouses find those walls unpleasant and try hard to break down the walls. A vicious cycle is then created. Since it’s rarely the controller who comes to counseling, Erik empowers the controlled to nicely but firmly assert their wishes.
The outlines contained in this book cut right to the chase with scripts, suggested wording, and the benefits of approaching marriage relationships with equity, clear boundaries, and respect. The title “Tyranny of Vapors” is taken from the term nineteenth century doctors used to describe patients who used their exaggerated illnesses to control others. This book is intended to deliver couples from this tyranny. Occasional reference is made to Hebrew wisdom literature and their wise strategies when confronted with relational walls.