Friday, February 07, 2014

I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse...

“Why do we shout when we are angry with someone even if the person is next to us? It is because when we are angry to tend to go far away from the other person even if they are standing next to us” - I remember reading this gem somewhere. Usually threats are made with a loud voice unless of course you are Don Corleone who is a reasonable man and whose threats are subtle.

The point of this post is to show that arguments can be very costly and unless they are handled well can cause a lot of pain in the long run for either parties in the argument. One common type of argument is the marital one which though looks like the usual lovers tiff can get uglier because here the argument is inside the ring, the wedding ring that is.

Arguments tend to go wrong when it ends as a win lose resolution. An argument can be a profitable one if it ensures that both sides win. I would like to share a cheat code with examples to the husbands to handle some usual arguments effectively with a win-win outcome.

Instance 1:
W: dear, we have to go for the wedding of the once removed, twice disowned, distant neighbour’s son of my parents next week
H: who?
W: you remember, them, they came to our wedding…
H: but I do hardly know them, must we go?
W: it is the same thing every time, when there is a function from my parent’s side, you seldom come. Do you not remember that I came for that wedding two years ago of…
H: But he was from my bike gang…
W: So, I came for his wedding, so WE ARE GOING for this wedding..
< lot of exchanges, and sometimes the deal breaker, a little tears (either party) later>
H: (sigh) ok, so when is the wedding again.

Instance 1 (the cheat code):
W: dear, we have to go for the wedding of the once removed, twice disowned, distant neighbour’s son of my parents next week
H: who?
W: you remember them, they came to our wedding…
H: oh them! Surely let us go.
W: It is in … and we can take my parents along,
H: No problem, I don’t think I have any meetings next week, we can take your parents also in our car so when is it again?
W: It is next Monday
H: Monday? Oh no! I think I have a meeting on Monday, let me check my diary again… I am very sorry dear, I have a meeting, but I will join you as soon as the meeting is over. You can go with your parents and I will join you as soon as the meeting is over, hopefully before dinner.
W: Are you sure?
H: Positive, I will come as soon as the meeting is over. I just hope that it ends in time though, last time a meeting got over late and I was very hungry when I reached home. If it gets delayed hopefully I will get food at the wedding when I reach
W: If it gets late you have dinner near office, we will take a cab.
H: I will definitely come dear; this is just a backup plan
W: Don’t worry, you finish your meeting, if it gets over early, you can come  otherwise we will manage.

Obviously a cheat code will require more work and a cool head however the argument will more often than not move in the favour of the husband. The important components of the cheat code
  • -      Say YES, even if you need to say NO
  • -      Paraphrase the words of the other half and use it to confirm the message
  • -      Agree to the point and then search for the escape clause
  • -      Make the escape clause appear difficult
  • -      When the level of difficulty is clearly expressed seek sympathy for the same
  • -      Close the argument ONLY when both sides are winning

P.S. Let me know if it works, I will try it at home…

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


Too many unrelated any yet related incidents that happened this morning spurred this post. The first was the Metro Plus which had an account of people going to holiday spots for their weddings, the second was a talk show on radio that focussed on arranged and love marriages, the third and the final one was me giving a patient ear to a friend suffering in a broken marriage.

Ask young women for a list of their favourite movies and “Alaipayuthe” will sneak into many lists. And the reasons are obvious, most movies end with the fairy tale ending of Happily Ever After and here is a movie that starts with the premise of the Happily Ever After and goes beyond. I have a wicked smile when I watch it with the better half and the unspoken words accompanied by the glare convey so much between us. Yes it is a movie to which people find they can relate to.

Marriage then is far removed from the happily ever after aspirations, it is in fact a work in progress and a work that never gets completed in a lifetime. Sadly people spend a lot of time, effort and money for the marriage and lesser in the days ahead. The debates on the merits of an arranged marriage over a love marriage go on but the bottom line is a marriage is built on love and whether love started before or after the ceremony should become immaterial for a good marriage.

I refrain from using the term “successful marriage”, frankly I am not sure how success is defined? Success is a relative term and often comes with a trace of jealousy, the lay man defines a successful marriage as one where the couple seem to have done something as well as or better than the person making up the definition. Behind every good marriage is a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, many people grow into the marriage and find that they always had the skills in them to make the marriage work. Those who lack the maturity should be aware of the requirements for marriage or beware of marriage.

The best intended advice that is usually free flowing from all around seldom works to make strained marriages work because everyone is unique and one size does not fit all. Marriage is a three legged stool - the husband, the wife, God. If you do not believe in God you can still use the analogy if you can believe that God is love…

p.s. This post came about because one marriage of a friend is on the rocks

p.p.s Go ahead and watch with a smile…