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Ripping The Door Off The Hinges

by Michael
(San Mateo, FL)

There was a dilapidated door on the front of my girlfriend's house. We had plans to fix it on several occasions, but just could not manage to get the time or afford the proper door for the odd space.

I had found an old solid wood door that I could make work with a little bit of carpentry skill, (which I have), but at this particular time, we were on the way to a small job of hers ( she is a locksmith).

Well I had to run in and get something, and needless to say the door got jammed. I grabbed the first thing in sight, (a pick axe). I had been using it for some garden work in the front yard that morning. I tore the old door off the hinges, and put up the new door.

Well we fought about that for a week or so. She told me I was a maniac and she couldn't take it any more. I did fix the door the same day and it is like new. Why was I wrong? If I could not have fixed the door, I would not have done that. Why was my action so wrong?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Michael, and thanks for telling your story here. It's clear that you don't think you did anything wrong, and your girlfriend is very upset with your actions. I will try to help.

What is needed here, Michael, is empathy for your girlfriend's viewpoint, even if you disagree. From her perspective, your behavior probably looked violent and aggressive, even though you may have thought you were constructively solving a problem. To have successful relationships, you have to be able to see things from the other person's viewpoint.

Another consideration is that you used a pick axe to demolish a part of your girlfriend's house, and you did it right in front of her. This probably looked very scary to her, which is why she called you a maniac. Show her that you're not a maniac, and be calm and considerate in her presence, or in the presence of anyone you care about.

Take a look at this page, where you will find conflict resolution skills that teach empathy, if that works for you and your girlfriend.

Make up your mind to be a good partner to anyone you're with, Michael. It's 100% up to you, and you can do it if you really want to.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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