Mark was a pleaser. He tripped all over himself trying to present himself as a nice guy. His life was dedicated to smiling, being positive, and trying to keep his wife Fay happy. Fay was a pistol. She had a fiery temper and she didn’t believe in repressing her emotions, particularly her anger. On more than one occasion she had let Mark (and others) know that “I don’t believe in stuffing my feelings.” The rest of the sentence, often unspoken, was “like my mother did.”
Fay’s mother died of ovarian cancer before she was fifty and Fay was convinced that her illness was caused by silently suffering at the hands of her husband who relentlessly abused her physically and emotionally. Fay’s mother was passive and outwardly tolerated her husband’s abuse and disrespect, but she shared her inner feelings of pain and anger with Fay who promised herself, even as a small child, that no man was ever going to mistreat her.