Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Linda & Charlie Bloom
3 min readApr 24, 2023

Sometimes, only taking action will do…

StockSnap/Pixabay

Linda: Marsha’s husband, Larry, was somewhat of a bully. When he didn’t get his way, he would often become critical and judgmental of Marsha, insisting that she comply with his demands. This would upset Marsha because she didn’t feel that Larry was treating her with the respect she deserved. He wasn’t treating her with respect, and she was responsible for giving him feedback about how unacceptable it was to her.

It was early in Marsha’s pregnancy when things reached a major turning point. Larry was driving the car and berating Marsha for something he was dissatisfied with. Marsha was quite firm when she insisted that he pull the car off the road. Larry did as she requested. They both got out of the car and she could see that he was stuck on his position. When she glanced at the car, she noticed the keys in the ignition. She jumped into the driver’s seat, peeling out before Larry could recover from his astonishment. They were many miles from home. Larry stood by the side of the road, assuming that after a period of time, his wife would return. But as time kept passing without her coming back for him, he finally realized that he had better figure out a way to get himself home and started walking.

When I talked with Marsha about this incident, she told me that she had tried so many things with Larry. She had appealed to his sense of fairness, calling attention to the fact that she did not indulge in coercive, controlling language to press him into doing things he didn’t want to do. She reported repeatedly to him that she felt hurt when he treated her in a disrespectful way. Her actions that day when she left him by the side of the road came out of her desperation to teach him how unacceptable his treatment of her was. Marsha told me that it was the pregnancy that had given her the strength and courage to drive away and leave Larry to find his way home.

Marsha was willing to draw a strong boundary on behalf of her unborn child. She didn’t want to subject the baby inside her to the unpleasantness that so frequently characterized their relationship. She wanted their child to be born into a harmonious, loving family. She was determined to do what she could to reach Larry with the seriousness of their situation that she risked it.

Larry got the message loud and clear, more clearly than any words that had come out of Marsha’s mouth. Larry loved his wife and was delighted at the prospect of becoming a father. He committed himself to respectful communication. Even though his commitment was a real one, he still occasionally lapsed into his old bad habits. But when he did, Marsha’s words no longer fell on deaf ears. Larry told me that being left by the side of the road was the wake-up call he needed, awakening him to the truth of his wife’s strength. He told me that he realized while he was standing there by the side of the road that even though they were married and were going to be parents, Marsha could really leave him if he didn’t make a stronger effort to control his outbursts.

Marsha told me she never had a moment’s regret for resorting to such an extreme measure. She’s glad she did it and truly grateful that things turned out well.

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Linda & Charlie Bloom

Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW, married since 1972, are experts in the field of relationships and have published four successful books. bloomwork.com