[M]y only qualifications … are having read several books about marriage and experience from my own marriage, now in its 30th year…
- “… a misconception: … to make a marriage work, you have to find the right person. The fact is, you have to be the right person,…
… students … interview friends about their … weaknesses, and discuss what triggers their … reactions … in order to understand their … hot buttons… “Being blind to these causes people to experience problems as due to someone else—not to themselves,” Solomon explains. “We all have triggers, blind spots, growing edges, vulnerabilities. The best thing we can do is be aware of them, take responsibility for them, and learn how to work with them effectively.”
- … blaming, oversimplifying, and seeing themselves as victims are all common traits of unhappy couples and failed marriages. …
- … frame statements as “X, Y, Z” statements, rather than finger pointing: When you did X, in situation Y, I felt Z….
Here are a few of my own thoughts on marriage:
- There are a huge number of dimensions on which one might wish to be well-matched with one’s spouse. There is no way you are going to be well-matched on all of those dimensions.…
- The reputation you have built up with your partner for telling the truth about objective facts is a precious asset in any relationship. …[T]here is bound to be some way to tell the truth. (If you can’t think straight, say “I can’t talk about this right now,” rather than lying.) The more subjective realm of revealing what is in your heart is trickier; seize moments when you will be able to express yourself well and be well understood. It is worth working toward being known.
- In an argument, if each partner comes back with 101% of the irate heat the other just gave, things will explode. But if each partner ratchets down the intensity to 99% of the intensity of the last remark, things will eventually calm down.* So a small difference in reaction pattern can be the difference between an explosion and something that simmers down.
* Math note: To pursue the logic a bit more, if your partner is coming back with 125% intensity on each round, you are going to have to return less than 80% intensity on each round to avoid an explosive chain reaction….
Already getting on in years (I was past the change of life), Béatrice fell passionately in love with the young priest; her feeling was translated by the verb adamare. She threw herself at him. As Barthélemy Amilhac himself said later:It was she who made the first advances; one day, when I had just finished teaching my pupils … Béatrice said to me: ‘Come to my house this evening.’
I did. When I was in her house, I found that she was there alone. I asked: ‘What do you want of me?’
And she said: ‘I love you: I want to sleep with you.’
And I answered: ‘All right.’
Straight away I made love with her in the antechamber of the ostal, and subsequently I possessed her often. But never at night. Always in the daytime. We used to wait until the girls and the servant were out of the house. And then we used to commit the carnal sin.
…What she loved in him was his gentleness and his desire — priests were known to be much more lustful than mere laymen….Béatrice loved the young man so much that she accused him of having bewitched her:I have never committed the sin of sorcery…. But I think the priest Barthélemy did cast a spell on me, for I loved him too passionately; and yet when I met him I was already past menopause.
After she became the vicaire's sweetheart Béatrice was continually annoyed by village gossip, spread by the parish slanderers (lauzengiers)…. She was also subjected to vexation by her brothers, who in typical Occitan style set themselves up as custodians of their sister’s virtue. She was afraid they might hurt her….
She [ran away] to Vicdessos, where she was joined by Barthélemy, and from there they both went on to Palhars, where a priest-cum-notary ‘married’ them, but without giving them his blessing. There they lived for a year in the same domus without causing the slightest scandal. They lived meagrely…[consuming her] dowry. Gradually Barthélemy got to know about [her heretical] past. He was afraid. There were quarrels…. They parted.
When they met again later it was just before they were both put in prison. Béatrice had already been roughly handled by the Inquisition, and she asked her former sweetheart to help her. Once again, as before … in the cellar at Dalou, Béatrice made love with the young vicar in a vineyard while her faithful maid kept watch… The rest of [their] story belongs to [the Inquisitor]. He put them both in prison. Then, a year later, on the same day, 4 July 1322, he set them both free.
Montaillou — southern France in the 1320’s (story ends 1322)
Art, unlike life, is measured by its maxima.