A couple who, always get on each other’s nerves, was found on investigation to be suffering from extreme boredom. They were quite unable to mention any specific habit or attitude which annoyed them. They were both intensely anxious to please each other.
And, indeed, they had probably carried this just a little too far in some respects, for they had become accustomed to a routine of smooth, cautious, polite, utterly inoffensive relations. There was no light and shade in their lives.
They lived a dull, monotonous, somewhat dreary existence, with never a word out of place and everything so very correct that the atmosphere of their home rather resembled that of many a quiet boardinghouse.
This couple was certainly loyal to each other. Neither had any complaints to make regarding the other. Indeed, their extreme anxiety to do the right thing and to give no cause for an offense provided the key to their problem.
The consultant whose advice they sought was impressed by their obvious over-anxiety in this direction. He realized that they were carrying a perfectly laudable attitude to extremes.
They were, in fact, always acting in a negative manner. Instead of seeking to give the utmost pleasure and satisfaction to each other, they were always much more concerned with giving no cause for offense. The mere avoidance of friction is not enough; there must be a conscious effort to promote each other’s happiness and welfare.
The consultant surprised them. He advised them to give a little more rein to their true feelings.
“Don’t be afraid to express, freely and frankly, your reactions to each other’s conduct,” he said. “You are both holding yourselves in too much.
It might be good for you both to speak out more and each let the other know what you really feel.”Otherwise, it will be too late being a husband and you might be wondering after some time how to get your wife back and vice versa.
This advice, tendered with some trepidation as the last resort, proved invaluable. That very same evening they had one of their most interesting talks for many a long year. The husband’s eyes were opened to little selfish acts of which he was completely unaware—habits into which he had drifted and which, performed in the politest manner, had never seemed selfish before.
See how you get pleasure in the relationship
The wife was astonished to hear how some of the things which she had done in the utterly erroneous belief that they would please her husband had really irritated him profoundly. This was all very helpful. But even more helpful was the way in which husband and wife, who for years had been boring each other, suddenly became interesting. Husbands! all of you should think over the above scenario if you want to get your wife back in a happy life and vice versa.
They were no longer bored people. They were two lively, alert human beings talking about the things which really mattered to them. By opening their hearts to each other they banished boredom and ceased to be boring. These people had not been neglectful of their duties or responsibilities. They had merely relied upon a faulty technique for dealing with the problems associated with their shared relationship. They may not have been aware that they had such a technique; indeed, they had probably never devoted serious thought to the subject.
Some married people have a technique, of which they are fully aware, for dealing with their difficulties, and which they have consciously developed to enable them to manage their part of the marital relationship satisfactorily.
These are probably the minority. They are certainly the minority where husbands are concerned, for usually they devote much less thought to such matters than do their wives.
Learn to deal with difficulties in a relationship
But although only a minority of people have a method of this kind of which they are aware, all husbands and wives have some sort of system or technique which they use for dealing with marriage difficulties. They may be totally unaware of its existence. But it is there just the same. They utilize it whenever difficulties arise.
This results in a tendency to deal with various situations in a particular way. It may not always be applied, but every husband and wife tend, in general, to some specific rather than haphazard manner in dealing with the innumerable problems of the joint relationship.
This fundamental system or technique is important. You should recognize its existence. You should bring it under review from time to time, and especially when difficulties are encountered to save the marriage.
Stop lifting finger and aim mutual adjustment
You can largely prepare yourself to deal with difficulties by improving your system or method. You have to consider your own emotional make-up and that of your partner. You have to keep in mind the aim of mutual adjustment.
No thought of domination, or of working out some method whereby you can gain advantages over your partner, must be permitted to enter. The whole object must be the strengthening of the relationship to save the marriage, thus giving love a chance to thrive and grow.
Even if only one of the partners meets marital difficulties in this thoroughgoing manner, a considerable improvement often results. But if both face the facts fearlessly and frankly, and face them together, the results are almost invariably satisfactory. Honest self-criticism and frank discussion have always been effective to save the marriage and made many a marriage.