“Choosing a partner is choosing a set of problems.”  Anonymous

I would like to share a humorous story I just read.

Imagine Paul married Alice; Alice gets loud at parties and Paul, who is shy, hates that. But if Paul had married Susan, he and Susan would of gotten into a fight before they even got to the party. That’s because Paul is always late and Susan hates to be kept waiting. She would feel taken for granted, which she is very sensitive about. If Paul had married Gail, they wouldn’t have even gone to the party because they would still be upset about an argument they had the day before about Paul’s not helping with the housework. To Gail when Paul does not help she feels abandoned, which she is sensitive about, and to Paul Gail’s complaining is an attempt at domination, which he is sensitive about.

The same is true about Alice. If she had married Steve, she would have the opposite problem, because Steve gets drunk at  parties and she would get so angry at his drinking they would get into a fight about it. If she had married Lou, she and Lou would of enjoyed the party but then when they got home the trouble would begin when Lou wanted sex, because he always wants sex when he wants to feel closer but sex is something Alice only wants when she already feels close.

When ever and who ever we choose to marry, we have to accept that we are taking on a unique person, and a unique set of problems that we struggle with. The key to a happy marriage is knowing what we can’t change, and using our emotional maturity to be able to talk about it without hurting the other person. (From After the Fight by Dan Wile)

3 Questions to ask yourself about your relationship.
  1. How can we adapt to each other and what adaptations have we already made?
  2. What adjustments have we already made to one another’s personalities?
  3. Yes, it is possible to have a trade-off across issues, for example one person can win on one issue while another person can win on another issue.


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