Want an Ideal Spouse or a Skillful Partner?

Alain de Botton has something constructive to say about marriage in his New York Times article, “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person.” He says that “compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition” (Italics mine). View the full article at http://nyti.ms/25piD1a.

My wife was nuts to agree to marriage six months after meeting me. But thirty-six years of experience with each other has given us confidence that we can figure out how to tolerate our differences and disagree skillfully. Neither of us has an easy partner, but we know how to deal with each other’s craziness. 

If you have ADHD, you may wish your partner would be more accepting of your differences. If your partner is still with you, then perhaps you got your wish. If you have trouble tolerating your partner’s frustration with your symptoms, then perhaps you could be more accepting. 

You may be especially sensitive to your mate’s frustration with you. I get that…trust me! But frustration is not banishment. You cannot engineer your partner’s response to your symptoms, and your partner cannot remake you to be the ideal spouse (de Botton says there is no such thing), but both of you can practice being skillful partners.

Skillful partners are neither defensive when confronted, nor contemptuous when confronting their spouse. Allowing influence is good for your partnership, and therefore good for you. When you allow influence, you will have influence.  

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