My fiancé feels I’m disrespectful, but I am just assertive

Monday, May 10th, 2021 00:00 |
Angry couple.

I have had a fabulous relationship with my fiancé for the last three years. We agreed that I move into his house six months ago.

Since I moved in, he has been complaining that I have become too harsh and disrespectful.

But I’m the assertive woman I have always been. My ‘yes’ is ‘yes’, and ‘no’ is ‘no’. 

I’m worried because he has started withdrawing and I’m afraid of losing him. What do I do?

Our take

When two lovers start off, a lot of attention is given to the relationship and all that one sees is the good and not the ugly.

It is when they get married or start living together that reality hits home.

This is because; in a relationships the closer we get, the more we begin to notice the flaws in each other. This is what you are experiencing. 

How were you socialised?

Your partner might not have seen or been bothered by your assertiveness before, but now that you are living together, the real you is coming out.

Many men especially African men confuse a woman being assertive with her being a “kichwa ngumu” (stubborn and not submissive).

They have been socialised to think that a submissive wife is one who is quiet, timid, passive, and so when they encounter an assertive woman like you, they fear that you will control them. 

On the other hand as many women are getting empowered, they tend to swing to the other end of the pendulum.

Having seen what their mothers went through, and having been now socialised about their rights, they vow not to become doormats like they saw their mothers become.

And so, they become aggressive wanting to compete with their men, thus becoming disrespectful to them.

They confuse aggression with being assertive as there’s a thin line between the two. 

Do introspection 

Could it be that in wanting to be assertive you have gone to the other extreme and become aggressive?

Being assertive is being able to stand for your rights without trampling upon the rights of others.

It’s respecting others feelings. How for example are you communicating your ‘yes’ and your ‘no’?

Do you do it in a way that your fiance feels respected or do you just answer him as it is not considering his feelings?

This is a conversation you need to have with him because only he can tell you how he feels respected or not. 

What about your tone of voice and your body language? Check yourself as this could be what is making him feel that way. 

Apologise to him if that has been the case and let him do some self-introspection as well to see whether or not he also has his own hang-ups about settling with an assertive woman like you.

Be honest with yourselves and if it can’t work, there’s no need pretending that it will work because you fear losing him. - The writers are marriage and relationship coaches,  [email protected]

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