Saturday, October 15, 2016

What You Can Ask For--And What You Can't

I heard a great piece of relationship advice recently. This bit of wisdom really got my attention and gave me a way to assess whether I am being reasonable
or unreasonable when I get into that “wanting him to change” mood.

It goes like this: "You can ask a partner for a behavior change but not a personality change."  You can ask for behaviors you want from your partner but You can’t ask them to be different on the inside or to develop the characteristics that will cause them to think like you do.

For example, you can ask your partner take a turn doing the laundry or ask him to clean the bathroom on Saturdays—those are behaviors—but you can’t ask him to notice when the bathroom is dirty or when the kids need clean socks—those are aspects of personality. You can ask him to buy and mail his sisters birthday gift (But please, don’t judge what he chooses--don’t sabotage yourself.) But you can’t ask him, “Why don’t you remember your family’s birthdays?” That is personality.

Similarly, you can say, “I’d like you to give me one compliment each day.” –that’s a behavior. But it’s not fair to say, “Why don’t you appreciate me?”—That’s personality. And probably the start of a fightJ.

That’s pretty much like saying, “Why don’t you become me?” And really, would I ever want to be married to me? I don’t think so.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

There is Only the Dance

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

(from TS Eliot, Burnt Norton II)