Friday, September 12, 2008

My wife is always right... Except when I am.

Someone much smarter in the ways of marital harmony told me 5 things to remember when navigating “discussions” with your better half. My wife and I have employed these points, and have really seen the difference in our daily and overall happiness.

1. Be each other’s advocate. Be the spouse that talks highly of the other. It’s an incredible thing when someone wants to give themselves to you, to spend their life with you. Talk about them like you adore them, when you’re in front of them, and when you’re not. Defend them. They will adore you for it.

2. Acknowledge their feelings. This does NOT mean you have to agree with them. Every issue should be treated as “This is how it made me FEEL”, not “This is how it IS”. Too often we take positions of My Fact versus Your Fact…start to think of each situation as My Perception versus Your Perception. They have a right to their opinion, as do you, and it isn’t necessarily RIGHT. Minimally, respect that they have feelings about the situation.

3. Compromise. How hard is it to give in, even just a little? Don’t set your feet in concrete, remember : You are not “right”, you simply have a differing perception.

4. Do something different. Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result? Come at it from a different direction…acknowledge their feelings, soften your stance, try again.

5. Fix the system, don’t abandon the house. When a pipe breaks in your home, do you move? I know, it’s tempting… Don’t bring up divorce like it’s some pebble to toss at the fragile glass of your relationship. Address the system. Return to the steps, over and over, find a different way.

As you can see, the person who told me this is deranged. I am not wrong. Ever. Go forward and do likewise, gents. Be right. At all costs. Then decide on which 40% you want to keep.

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Willow said...

This is an incredible post and something that my husband and I have been learning the hard way through what been the single worst year of our 20 years together. The being each other's advocate? Not a popular thing in society -- husband- and wife-bashing among friends is a common pastime and a habit not easily broken. I just love your blog!

Jay said...

Thanks for the kid comment Willow- We have had rough years as well, but continue to learn, and are currently having one of our best. Get him on board, and keep trying new ways around!!

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

Hiya! Good post. It's hard when you are the compromiser, but excellent points.

I like that one about not tossing out divorce every time the wife isn't happy but clearly should be totally happy. (Not that this used to happen to me all the time.) It's not a good thing to do.

posthumous pointer
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded. - Emerson