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“Collusion is the silent killer in countless harmful behaviors. Refuse to collude”—LMB

Collusion can harm marriages, businesses, systems, races, countries, and our world. People collude in marriages when they rationalize, excuse, or silently accept poor treatment.  They collude in business when they cover up, hide, or turn a blind eye to the harmful actions of their co-workers or leaders. Men collude in sexual harassment when they allow their friends to harass others and laugh at it or say anything. Companies collude with sexual harassment/assault when they secretly pay victims to remain silent. Politicians collude when they look past their candidate’s actions to deflect blame on others.  All of this complicity keeps the bad behavior going. All of these actions hurt others.

Collusion is damaging to everyone involved—even those who are doing the colluding.  Collusion keeps harmful behaviors in place. And while today the collusion of others may be protecting you, tomorrow you may be the one being hurt. Collusion does not help our world in any way. It provides a safe haven for bad behavior and puts innocent people at risk.

In marriage, the self-sabotaging interaction between a one-up partner and the other, who behaves from a one-down place is an example of collusion. Not talking about serious issues for years is another example.. This may not be a choice. It can be a legacy pattern of behavior from an older generation and from a deep wounding. Both partners must be brave enough to give up these collusive behaviors to reach their goals in their marriage.

Stop colluding. Stand up to poor treatment—in your house, at work, and in our world. Don’t protect those who are hurting others—they cannot grow if they never feel the pain of their actions. Our world cannot become a better place when collusion is at the helm .Dare to challenge your impulse to remain silent, stand up to collusion and raise the bar on all humanity.

Challenge: Don’t ever put fear, personal gain, financial wealth, or political agendas above humanity. We will each need the gift of humanity to come our way some day—let is start with you.


c: Lisa Merlo Booth, November 2017


Wendy Allen, Ph.D, MFT is an expert in couples and marriage therapy. She has been practicing in Santa Barbara for almost 30 years. She is the only Marriage therapist in the tri-counties using the Real Relational Living model, from which all of these ideas are based upon.