Fire and Ice


A steep path to happiness.

How can it be that the people we love most drive us most crazy at times? Dr. Harville Hendrix claims that our life partner usually has at least one personality trait that has bothered us or still bothers us in one of our parents as well (Getting the Love You Want, 1988). But why are we annoyed by exactly this trait? Phyllis Krystal always taught us in her seminars, that we picked our parents ourselves before incarnation, because we wanted to learn something specific. The lesson goes on with the life partner, as it would appear from the teachings of the both above mentioned authors.

Whatever the explanation might be, we often find ourselves in a seemingly hopeless situation: sometimes the people we love most are also the ones we are most angry with. What can we do?

We can simply accept the fact that the loved ones drive us crazy, even though there is no ultimate explanation why.

We can apologize. This is a very useful technique. Even if it seems irrelevant to us, it might matter to the person we have yelled at. Let’s take a look at an example. The wife likes a very clean apartment. The husband wants to chill and watch TV after work to get some rest and stop thinking about the job. The wife asks him to move to the bedroom, so she can clean the living room. He moves, but yells at her. To him cleaning is pointless, at least as often as she does it. What he does not realize, is that to her cleaning is very important, because she was raised that way. If he had stepped into her shoes, he would not have yelled. What he can do now, is apologize sincerely. In the future they can reach a compromise: either she does not clean precisely when he comes home, or he goes to the bedroom and reads a newspaper.

Anyone can make up compromises like that. But why is it so tough to actually go through with them? Because in a compromise we always sacrifice something. In our example the compromise No. 1 is HERS. And the compromise No. 2 is HIS. It does not matter, which option they pick. However, it matters in the long run. It should not always be one and the same partner sacrificing something in each different situation. The one who does, has less power. And the power in a relationship should be evenly distributed, which is one of the ground rules of couples therapy. It takes two to be unselfish enough to make compromises.

Partnership is like a balanced lunch. One has to eat the “suspiciously looking greens” first, only then can one get the desert. Similarly, a couple has to work their way through all the compromising, to be able to enjoy the sweet moments together.

Some conflicts can be solved according to the rule of the less painful compromise. If you recognize that the cleaning means more to your wife than the TV to you and you can easily read newspapers in the bedroom, be a sport and let her clean.

In compromising one has to be practical too. Why complain for instance that your hubby brings you roses only for your birthday? Dry them in darkness and the beautiful bouquet will last you for a year 😉

Read more about love in my fantasy novel with romance. Find inspiration in a fairy tale that could easily be a true story.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships

Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

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