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Read Letter


My dear Jil,

There has to be agreeability in a relationship if it’s ever going to work. Both you and your husband must be agreeable, and achingly want your marriage to work if it’s going to work. You must desire the marriage. That desire has a magnetic quality to it. It’s a virtual marital glue. It binds souls together. There’s a difference between being in a marriage and being in a happy marriage. In a happy marriage the love is a non-negotiable. There can be differences of viewpoints on certain issues but both of you maintain agreeability. There can be disagreement without disagreeability.
Disagreement is a state of facts. It’s temporary. Disagreeability is a state of spirit. It’s permanent. Relationships work better when parties choose to consider and accommodate the other’s perspective to an issue. Accommodation of another’s viewpoint can enrich a relationship. Affords a larger picture of life. As much as you love your man you’ll never agree with him on everything. But it shouldn’t be disagreeability. Men and women view issues differently. The sexes have unique perspectives on facts. Agreeability has more to do with attitude than actually agreeing on things. Agreeability looks for accommodation. Even though couples disagree on interpretation of facts they must see those perspectives as missing links in viewpoints. And even in a disagreement a couple must yet meet in a middle ground called love. No matter how much you disagree with his perspective your love must remain sacrosanct. It’s a no go area.

Love is your private island. It’s where both of you meet in secret, away from the hassles and frictions of life. Love is the place of harmony. Nothing else should matter but your love for each other. No disagreement on facts should affect it. This is a higher order of thinking, a higher order of relationship. Garrison the love you have for each other. The unspoken but deep commitment to having a loving relationship is the beginning of agreeability. And a wise man, or woman knows how to gain additional perspective from the unique views of his or her partner. Were someone to ask your partner for advice on an issue for instance… There’s a way and manner he’ll process the facts as a man. But certain nuances will be lost on him, especially those nuances only a woman can understand. Your job is to bring those nuances to his attention in a spirit of agreeability… “Maybe we should also consider this…” It’s your viewpoint as a woman that rounds off the sharp edges of his unique take on life. Men are angular. You’ll be able to give him a woman’s perspective on the facts – things he couldn’t consider. Your perspective cures his blind spot. And a wise man will consider. It’s not for nothing cars have side mirrors and rear mirrors despite large windscreens. A wise man will combine knowledge perspectives to take right decisions.

Same approach goes for business. Your unique perspective is needed as well. You’re supposed to be your husband’s confidant and most trusted adviser. You have a stake in his life and success. You’re an interested party. And you better be interested. If he takes an awful decision you’re going to pay half the price. It’s called marriage. You advice him because you love him and not just because you’re afraid of paying a price. Women can be very insightful on HR matters for instance. I guess it’s a gift from God. Men are like rulers. They can be so perpendicular in approach, so logical! But life is not logical. It’s filled with a liquefied natural gas called emotions. Emotions create parallax. Emotions refract and distort facts, in the same way water refracts angles and reality. Women are pretty good at decoding nuances of emotion that are necessarily lost on men. When a woman’s ability to decode nuances is combined with a man’s logical approach to life, it’s something powerful. You and your husband are supposed to combine strengths to deliver on this project called life. You’re on the same team, remember! Style of approach to goal may differ but you’re both aiming for the same goalpost. He may prefer to fire shots all the time, while you choose to dribble your way through. But you’re both facing the same post. Members of the same team can’t begin to argue on perspective. Solomon said something which I find interesting, even intriguing. There is so much power in the simplicity of his statement. It’s one of those “obvious” statements: “He that hath friends must show himself friendly.” In other words, disposition matters a lot if you want a relationship.

An adversarial posture is of course counter-productive in a marriage. Being testy and temperamental will only put off your husband. It can be irritable insisting on having your way in a relationship, not looking at the larger picture. When we focus on the small issue we miss the larger picture. And life is one huge picture. It’s always nice to at least listen to the other person, to learn what they have to say. Who knows! You may disagree but at least you give the other person the respect of being heard. It takes discipline and practice to achieve this ideal. Sometimes we just want to rush through our viewpoints. A relationship is not a debating contest. It’s not about who wins. It’s about what’s wise and what’s right. If you turn your relationship into a contest of wills things are only going to get worse. It will escalate until you’re intolerant of the IDEA of the other person’s viewpoint. You must be tolerant of each other and you must have absorbent capacity if you want a good relationship. I do hope this has been helpful. I wish you a loving and very happy marriage. No one deserves less.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Attitude, Marriage

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