Tag: Adjustments

The secret to a happy marriage

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. George Levinger

Strange as it may sound, the theory of opposites attract as is proven by magnets is perhaps just as applicable in marriages. The genesis of the marriage could be anything from love marriages to arranged marriages or marriages of convenience as would perhaps happen when a divorcee marries another divorcee or   a widower marries a widow ;  the focus though  is often on how compatible the couple is and we mistakenly believe that compatibility will cement the relationship. Compatibility certainly plays a vital part in getting a couple together else there would be no commonality of interest/ purpose/ objective/feelings. However compatibility does not really address the reality that surfaces after the courtship and honeymoon, that of the individuality of the partners that manifests itself in differences, disagreements, opposing style and personality traits  and even in completely divergent expectations and behavior.

The real issues in marriage often surface soon after marriage but the emotions of love, tenderness, joy and the eagerness to please the partner and respective families and friends camouflage the differences that may have crept in. In many ways the earlier the differences come to the fore the individuality of partners becomes more obvious and enables the couple to find ways and means of handling it using all the positive emotions and by suppressing ones ego and making adjustments. There is no doubt that in this process each partner also does sacrifice a part of his/ her individuality and adapts and adjusts to the demands of married life. The good part is that we get used to the adjustments early on and so the process is easier than unlearning and relearning which is tedious, painstaking and above all a major psychological hurdle to cross. To explain, if one partner is obsessed with brushing the teeth before going to bed and the other couldn’t care less the earlier they adjust to the reality by either accepting each one’s differences or one of them adjusting to the others pet peeve it won’t be long before the issue becomes a major bone of contention in a temperamental married life.

It is essential to accept the fact that when we express our individuality there would be a hugely disproportionate number of differences that come to the fore. While many of these could be insignificant it is the serious differences that could often mar an otherwise harmonious marriage. It is equally possible that the differences small or big get to be more frequent, more stressful and more acrimonious and that is when the strain of living together comes to the fore. The chief culprit that actually stretches the relationship to breaking point is often cited as incompatibility but this is just a pseudonym for intolerance, ego hassles, inflexibility, bickering and nagging not to mention finger pointing and possibly culminating in use of vile and abusive language tone and threats. If one can manage to bridge the differences that crop up in a relationship through a combination of understanding, give and take, acceptance, adjustments, sacrifices, forgiveness and unconditional love, handling incompatibility would never pose a problem ; ask those couples who tenderly hold hands even when they squabble, have a love tinged mischievous smile when then poke fun at their other half and revel in the affection of their partner and display both concern and pain when the other is suffering. The vows of marriage when the couple get married offer a clear clue to the incompatibility that is central to marriage when they  vow to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us par.

Remember : “More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.” Doug Larson

Try this:

  1. If you are married outline the 3 most annoying traits in your spouse that you never realized before marriage. In the same breath also jot down 3 wonderful traits that your spouse has that really surprised and elated which you never knew before marriage. If unmarried, list 3 traits that you would hate to have in your future spouse and 3 traits that you hope he/she will have.
  2. Identify 3 ideal couples known personally to you (other than your own family members)who have been married for  less than 5 years, married for 5-10 years and 20-25 years. Why do you think they are an ideal couple? Is there some trait that you can emulate in your relationship now or in the future?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com


Coping with adjustments

There are things I can’t force.  I must adjust. C.M. Ward

Life rarely goes the way we plan it out and never goes the way we would like it to go.  This unpredictability of life is what enriches our living because each day comes with its fresh bouquet of roses and of course each rose comes with a stem of thorns too. While we would all love to have just the rose without getting a prick, and preferably ensure that it remains fresh forever we are reconciled to fact that this can never happen. It becomes easy for us to focus on the beauty of the rose and try to be careful handling it. Despite this if we get pricked, we blame our carelessness and possibly use a vase to put the rose in but rarely do we reject the rose because we get a prick or two. This is an adjustment we do because we would love to enjoy the fragrance, freshness and beauty of the flower. Substitute life for flower and we see that the daily hassles, the sudden upheavals, the occasional calamities that rear its ugly head are but mere small pricks or large pricks but Life itself is wonderful.

In reality, there are many times when the stress and pain are too much to bear. If we pause to study this torturous phenomena carefully, we will realize that the pain and hurt are primarily because we are fighting the irreversible mentally and not accepting the harsh reality. Denial is often the first stage of facing the bitter truth. If we are diagnosed with a major or irreversible illness, we first try to rationalize why the diagnose is possibly incorrect simply because we refuse to accept the reality. Denial can take many forms. Some of us underplay the reality, others mask their emotions, in extreme cases people would pretend to be more cheerful and exuberant outwardly while becoming nervous wrecks internally for the mind and body are in conflict. Once we can accept the reality, we can attempt to tackle the problem and immediately even the problem seems to shrink in size mentally. This is major adjustment that all of us have to constantly keep making.

Self belief is the key to making the right adjustment. Many a time we refuse to adjust because our ego won’t permit us to accept the reality or because we cannot imagine the future in an altered state than what we originally foresaw. When we have self belief we let our personal confidence become the vital ingredient that substitutes for all that we have lost in the altered state. Eg. If a person has lost a limb in an accident accepting that becomes very difficult if one sees themselves as being invalid or dependent. No sooner the person realizes that it is only an inconvenience that one can cope up with, the person has immediately have taken the road to adjustment. Creativity and persistence are the two legs on which most adjustments are successfully made. Any adjustment means a change and alteration and for it to be effective one has to be both creative and persistent. E.g. the first person who made a bicycle and rode it must have fallen quite a few times before managing to balance it. Today the kids do it easily despite falling because they have seen others ride a cycle and so know it can be done. The first person never had that benefit. In life the adjustments we make are like that of the first bicycle rider for we have to find out own way forward for no two individuals would have identical adjustments to be made.

Remember: “Happiness comes from… some curious adjustment to life.”  Hugh Walpole

Try these:

  1. Read the brief overview on denial by clicking this link  http://www.livestrong.com/article/14731-dealing-with-denial/
  2. Make a plan for the week and very detailed plan for tomorrow. Tomorrow evening review the day and see how many things went as per you plan and how many adjustments you had to make. Also examine which was the most painful or difficult adjustment to make. At the end of the week do a similar review. Also ask yourself if there were roadblocks in your plan that could have been easily avoided if you didn’t let your ego come in the way.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

The friends paradox

It is easier to visit friends than to live with them. Chinese proverb

To really understand the significance of the above quote, ask a married couple one year after their marriage about their highs and lows and new discoveries about one another. Both will have very nice things to say about the other, but slowly a litany of complaints will also rear its ugly head and both parties will be rudely shocked to discover that they have their strong limitations. Something similar is in store when we really get too close to our friends. While they must be the best of people and may even lay down their life for you, on a more human level they could have their own quirks and eccentricities that will drive you nuts. So getting to know them from close quarters will be both a revelation and a shock.

When visiting friends the reality is that irrespective of how long we are with them we have the option of leaving. This itself is a big psychological boost and so we are prepared to put up with some strange behavior, some wild suggestions, some intemperate language and the like. No doubt one will be in a fix when confronted with this rather odd scenario but the fact that we can always quietly disengage and head home is a very comforting thought which allows us the luxury of putting up with more than what we can normally tolerate. E.g. There could be someone who is crazy about his pet dog but you are terrified of dogs. When you visit the friend, if he is inconsiderate and lets his dog roam around sniffing you would be definitely upset and scared. If the friend makes light of the situation and goes overboard and chides you for being scared you will definitely consider the option of make a quick gateway.

If we have to live with friends then we are exposed to a whole different world. The friends may have different value systems, varied styles of living, strange tastes in colors food habits and personal hygiene. The challenge then is to adjust be it in being accommodating to others or in gently getting the others to adjust or in both parties making compromises. This is rather difficult to do partly because under normal circumstances we have a wonderful equation with our friends but when one has to live with a friend the stakes are much higher. Imagine living with a friend who loves to listen to heavy metal the moment he gets up and strews his clothes all over the place. How much more difficult it will be for a vegetarian to live with someone who is a compulsive non vegetarian who has no consideration for your sentiments.

In the clash of differences it is the friendship that is affected. This is both a tough price to pay and perhaps a major challenge to relationships. Perhaps this also explains why sometimes roommates become life long buddies because they have managed to resolve their differences and respect each other whereas others have to simply bear up. In the buffet of life we partake in, we are better off in a relationship symbolic as that of a plate and food served in it rather than as incompatible ingredients that spoil the food.

Remember: “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” Tennessee Williams

Try this:

  1. Make a list of your close friends .  For each list out at least 3 irritating things / behavior/ mannerisms/ problems that you simply detest.  Choose which of the friend’s house you will willingly spend a fortnight with along with the friend’s family.
  2. Would you be comfortable staying with the following friends:
  • A friend who suffers from cancer is under chemo treatment
  • A friend who admits he is gay
  • A friend who has just one room and he snores exceptionally loudly
  • A friend who is a compulsive smoker and a hard drinker and you neither drink nor smoke.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

New adjustments and self esteem…

Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem.  Eric Hoffer

Adjustment definitely indicates a shift from the status quo. For almost everyone this shift brings with it a number of questions relating to ‘what happens next’.  With the rare exception of very desperate people or extremely positive people, most normal people would be circumspect about the adjustment, primarily because we are concerned about how what the possible negative impact of the change would be. Desperate people will go with an attitude of it can’t get worse whilst the positive people will look at it as another opportunity around the corner.

The bigger problem of adjustment though, is its impact on our self esteem. Invariably the adjustment is because of changing circumstances most of it not initiated by our self. Worse still if the adjustment is forced up on us our ego will first question the authority and authenticity of the source of change. The human mind will then go on the defense and conjure up imaginary negative impact of the adjustment so as to take preventive action if and when the eventuality happens. Job transfers are a classic case of an event requiring a major adjustment. Beginning with accommodation and schooling of kids, it also raises worries about the new work environment, the quality of work, the type of superior one will have to deal with and the cultural and social adjustments one has to make.

Our upbringing and personal nature also play a major role in either minimizing the crisis of the self-esteem problems in adjustments or precipitating it.  There are times when we take a high moral ground and refuse to budge from your position even if you realize that your argument is weak. Eg. When we refuse to give alms to a beggar ostensibly because you are opposed to encouraging beggars but realistically because you do not have any small denomination currency. Other times we make the adjustments with poor grace and an even worse temperament.  Road rage is a vivid  example of such behavior. Our inability to cope with change particularly technological change is a major crisis in self adjustment.  While we would love to own the latest gadgets, finances permitting, we actually hesitate even when we can afford to acquire the gadgets simply because we fear w may not be able to operate the equipment. Eg.The latest mobile telephones are a rage with the youngsters but don’t cut much ice with the older generation who put on a façade of ‘not really requiring the features’ to justify themselves.

A good test of knowing your own ability to cope with adjustments is to check on how often you decline opportunities, ask yourself how weak is your argument for declining and what are the first thoughts that come to mind, when you see a change coming. Finally also ask yourself if you are ashamed to attempt and fail. If the answer is an overwhelming yes, then you have a major crisis of self esteem on hand.

Remember: “The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” Orison Swett Marden

Try this:

  1. Assume that you are travelling in train with your family and you have reserved seats.  At a certain junction a very old lady enters the compartment and requests you to make a small adjustment and let her sit since she has no reservation and she has to go to another place which is 6 hours away. How will you realistically deal with the situation? Will your response be different if the lady entered at 9 am or 9 pm?
  2. Go and attend a concert or play or musical show or a magic show or a circus or any program preferably of a genre that you have never been to.  For best results go alone and avoid all temptation of taking a friend along. Examine your own feelings before, during and after the show. Irrespective of the quality of the show or your ability to appreciate it, did you enjoy the experience?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com