Last year I was working with a gentleman who was a stunt pilot. He was a really great guy but he suffered from a severe problem and he was not aware of it. In fact, he was convinced his wife was the problem.
His marriage would never work if he kept this problem. As you scan this post you discover what happened to change this gentleman’s thinking – he was visibly shocked.
His problem is a problem I see a lot in varying degrees in my meeting with couples and can affect both men and women.
The root problem is rigidity in the persons thinking. In essence, the person thinks they are right and they will fight to protect those thoughts.
People with ridged thinking are highly likely to suffer in their relationships and cause suffering. One of the core skills needed for longterm success in a marriage is flexibility and the ability to be influenced into a new way of thinking.
This gentleman told me that he knew what he thought about situations and life and he was 99% always right.
He was totally convinced he was right all the time and he also knew when he listens to others communication in this case his wife he knew what she was thinking and could put himself in her shoes and be right.
Obviously, this type of thinking would cause tremendous problems because in reality was he was nearly always wrong but could never see it
How I operate with my own wife Cloe and what I teach is that being right is really not important at all.
If my wife is upset is it more loving to make her wrong or simply care she is distressed and help her?
My big concern with this gentleman, he was so convinced he was able to clearly see the world he and others lived in he had no desire to change despite his relationship being in total crisis.
He was right, she was wrong so he was going to have to leave her.
One of his first challenges was his belief system told him apart from physical differences men and women were fundamentally the same.
This thinking would limit his ability to search for new thought patterns and specifically ones that would support his wife.
He brought up a topic of “fairness” so I was curious about how this could work in his mind.
He said relationships should be fair and equal. I explained to him that there are many men that also believe this but they are also struggling in their relationships too.
Naturally, he didn’t agree.
I shared with him that I 100% agree with equality but for there to be an attraction there have to be differences.
He still didn’t agree.
So I asked him if he wanted life to be 100% fair he wouldn’t mind for the rest of the session if I treated him as a girl.
He was instantly not happy with this suggestion. This was the first time he could see and feel his thoughts might not make sense and this moment was shocking for him. It opened him up to want to learn something new.
What was interesting about this man was even though it looked like he would be impossible to change as long as I could present good logical proof that his thinking wasn’t right he was able to expand his internal map and see why his wife was really suffering.
He told me that he felt terrible that he had caused so much pain and he wanted to take steps to learn how to keep his wife safe. This was one of the core missions he agreed with and now wanted to understand.
Many women come into the sessions also believing they are 100% right about their husbands’ behaviour. What I have to share to both men and women is if you judge a person using your own internal map of the world you are highly likely to be wrong.
If you really want to understand what your partner is experiencing then understanding their internal map and the way they translate the world is going to be critical if you are going to be fair to them.
I have seen so many people on the edge of divorce purely because they were far too rigid in their thinking.
The people that are always right are the ones that usually end up alone.
The truth is there is massive diversity in peoples thinking and what drives them. Everyone is different and the quest when you choose to live with one person for life is to make understanding them your mission and to then love those differences.
That way they will feel cared for, loved and not judged.