Friday, January 13, 2012

Tip No. 1

For all wannabe writers, bloggers (are they the same thing?) etc - I suggest you check out
He might be the answer to every aspiring writer's prayers.
Have a look; see if you agree.

Now -
About some stuff I've gleaned
Living has meant bumping my head on wrong choices, unknown facts, missed chances, and wisdom lacks.
(Of course there's also the good stuff, but that never makes such interesting reading.)
Marriage might be a good starting place.
Is there anywhere more fraught with danger?!

Tip No.1. 
I'm sure you've heard the saying "opposites attract"?
Cliched because true.
Technically, the master plan was great: make two opposites into one unit by marriage and his weaknesses are her strengths and vice versa.
Together they make an amazingly strong team.
In the early days, spouses marvel at each other for being so good at what they can't do.
For being what they can't be.

*If we are fiery, they are placid.
We love that.
Admire it.
Wish we could be like them.
*If we are dreamy, arty, untidy - they are organised, methodical and accomplishing.
We are blown away by their skills and all they can get done where we just can't seem to.
*If we stress about life, they are pragmatic and level headed.
*If we struggle with procrastination, they are go-getters, doing things on the very day they planned.

They are just what we need -
And we are just what they need.
Everything is roses.
No one knows what the 'until' will be in each case but it happens.
Until - one day, we find ourselves irritated with our partner for not being like us.
And  critcise him for it.
Or vice versa.
If he is placid, now suddenly he seems weak or passive.
If he is organised and methodical, we see him as anal and picky.
If he is pragmatic, we think he doesn't understand the situation or us.
Non-procrastinating behaviour is now seen as stern and inflexible.
And the very thing that had been the strength of our marriage becomes its weakness.

It's as though marriage runs on smoothly oiled gears, teeth interlocking perfectly, moving the vehicle of shared life forward together seamlessly.
Then, something tweaks the gears a tiny bit. Moves them slightly out of kilter.
Now the gears grate and grind: the vehicle stalls, the engine screams.
Just how a marriage in this space feels: full of accusation and criticism.
Anger and pain.

Once this has happened, it cannot "happen" to come right.
And the news is: we get the job of starting the healing process ourselves.
(Because if we try to tell our spouses, the chances are that we will end up fighting about that too)

Action Stations:
a) Recognise
b) Be prepared to start fixing it yourself
c) Prayer would be good - good intentions seldom hold if we try them by ourselves.
d) Apologise - don't mention what he has done wrong. Apologise for being mean, critical - whatever fits your bill. (This is the hard part but its truly worth it. The repair work has to start somewhere)
e) Remember what you used to admire about him. (Revisiting old diaries is a good aid here)
f) Think how you feel when he attacks you in areas he used to admire you.
g) Make the effort to approve him and admire him.
h) Don't expect instant results but, if your man is a normal human being, results will come.

I am reading a book called Blink at the moment.
Without going into a long story, let me just share this important piece of info: a certain expert (named in the book) believes that the single biggest killer in a marriage is contempt.
Talking down.

Aren't those the very attitudes and behaviours that come out of what we've been talking about?
So, my guess is that this is pretty important stuff.
And I have tried the recipe.
In fact, its my recipe - not the stuff of experts (not to my knowledge, anyway)
But it sure worked for me
Maybe for you too, if you need it.

1 comment:

Linda said...

We will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary tomorrow Allie, and I can assure you that you've gotten it exactly right. The trick with all of this is actually putting it into practice. Even after all these years I often find myself falling back into old habits that I know very well don't work!
Thanks again for the link.