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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Games Couples Play – Those Polarising ‘Little’ Differences

Journal entries are entertaining to reflect over. As I strode through a 2006 memoir I came across the subject of a dispute with my then-to-be fiancée, Sarah. As it happened, it was the day before I proposed to her. I think it’s safe to ‘go to print’ now. I wrote:

“It was a source of slight irritation that she wanted to ‘think about it’ and I wonder how some basically unimportant things (in the overall view) will be ‘over-pumped’ and influence our decision-making in the future.”

It is even more interesting that later that day, on the same page, I laughed at myself for taking things too seriously.

One Degree Off

As couples meet and acquaint and the sparks fly, it is easy to get carried away. Romance has a life of six to twelve months, sometimes longer, but rarely much longer. Sooner or later those ‘quirky’ things that one partner laughed about will become a source of derision, frustration and anger.

Suddenly little things become big things and though partners may only be one degree off from perfect parallelism they’re sufficiently opposed to both parties’ frustration. And they say that opposites attract! Even at 89 or 91 degrees the right angle looks wrong!

The funniest thing is these differences were always there. They were just unexposed.

Don’t Forget Humour

As couples stand at a distance from their problems it’s seen that either one or both is taking life—and the specific issues—too seriously. Sure, some issues are significant and many do need working through. But just not like this. There are other ways.

When things get testy perhaps one partner needs to fart. Yes, you read that right. It’s often the most obscure thing that becomes the turning point. Some off-handed (but appropriate) humour bursts the bubble of stress that encapsulates the situation. Breathing space is discovered.

Couples are best finding the irony in polarising little differences.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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