Dear Readers - Here’s a new twist on Relationship Issues:
“I don’t have any relationship issues. My wife and I don’t have any drama in our lives. Why? Because we respect each other. That’s all it takes, mutual respect.
“There’s a truism that reads, “Be kind, for every person you meet is fighting a Great Battle.” That goes for your spouse, your partner, your co-workers, etc.
“Several of our friends envy my wife because I do the cooking, the laundry, I buy her flowers, we sometimes go out for dinner.
“I do these things because we’re partners. When my wife comes home I don’t want her to carry her outside troubles through the door with her.
“I make a conscious effort to try and create an environment that says, “You’re safe here, I am your safe place.”
“If we have a late supper and the dishes don’t get done, I do them and clean up the kitchen before I go to work.
“I want my wife to be able get out of bed relaxed, to be able to ease into the day.
“I’m the luckiest guy. I won the lottery when I hooked up with her. I have a life I couldn’t have even imagined when I was young.
“You might say I live in a perpetual state of Gratitude. So, if you want a good, strong, honest, loving relationship, all it takes is humility and gratitude.
“If you find yourself walking down that slippery slope into a disagreement, all you have to ask yourself is, “What part of me needs to be Right?” It’s a very powerful introspection.
“Of course, our relationship is not perfect. One day my wife and I were having a disagreement and she said to me, “Honey, you could be right... or you could be happy.”
“That ended the disagreement.”
Ellie - I’m betting that some of you must think that this man’s description is about a near-Utopian relationship.
He’s a good man, undoubtedly the Giver in this marriage, and his wife apparently thinks that’s just fine.
Yet, if asked, I’d alert them both to something missing: Sharing the load.
Example: He seems to think that “a safe home” is no place for airing the day’s problems at work.
Yet, couples need to be able to discuss some of these matters, whether to explain why they’re stressed or to share ideas on how “outside” problems can be handled. That’s called support. And it’s needed as much as being soothed.
Still, he makes some very good points we can all think about for our relationships: Mutual respect, empathy for others in your life, partnership, the “safe” feeling that comes from total trust. And gratitude for all that’s good between you.
Plus, choose being “happy” over being “right” (or having the last word).
I’d add, so long as it doesn’t challenge a basic principle you hold.
A true partner shouldn’t have to be silent on such principles, in order to keep everything smooth between you.
Don’t let someone’s silent pressure suppress your true personality, thoughts and needs, in order to prevent any ripples of disagreement.
Happy relationships need texture - highs to counter the lows, joys to remember when the day-to-day gets dull, exciting new goals as well as fond old memories.
Whether it’s with your lover, spouse, your children, mother, father, or best friend, a close relationship is lived as a journey, never just standing still.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man, 86, considering divorcing his wife, 84 (Oct. 23):
“Because of his age/wealth, you warned him against possible female "users" and "scammers" (aka "gold- diggers” ).
“This suggests that older wealthy males are susceptible and vulnerable to female predators.
“It may be so, sometimes.
“However, many older women genuinely looking for love and companionship are often equally well-educated.
“But they weren’t adequately financially compensated in their female-dominated professions.
“This is often a deterrent to some older women seeking a relationship with older wealthier men, but fearing that they’ll be labelled "users" and "scammers.”
Ellie - Thanks for reminding readers of pay inequities older women endured for years (as some women still do today).
Reader #2 – “He “took her in,” had two children “from” (not “with”) her.
“He’s likely made her feel inferior, unintelligent, and unlovable. He punishes her by not speaking for weeks!!
“Why would she want him to touch her?”
Tip of the day:
Practice the basic behaviours that make for a healthy relationship with close people. It’ll turn much of your life towards “happy.”