I was visiting my brother a week ago or so and between songs (we're rehearsing for an upcoming coffee house performance) he and I and his wife talked about relationships. I opined that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship and that no matter how hard couples try to get along and how much in common they might have, there are always going to be problems of some sort. Sure, they might be small problems and essentially meaningless in the larger mix of what makes up a successful relationship, but a small problem is still a problem. Sometimes the way that many small problems are dealt with by one or both parties in the relationship can lead to an eventual bigger problem or even a split.
I have always watched with interest how people interact, especially couples. I have had more than my share of experiences, both good and bad, with members of the opposite sex and I marvel at those relationships that seem to succeed and ponder over what the magic ingredients might be to bring about that success.
I think that actually trying to make things work is one such ingredient, but trying isn't magic and is often very hard work. I think being accommodating is another ingredient, but neither is it magic -- it is merely common sense.
The reason that I am writing about this today is that I just read an opinion piece by John Ross called: 'Advice to Women About Men, or JR Uses Your Wristwatch to Tell You the Time.' I laughed out loud several times while reading it. If you are as puzzled by relationship dynamics as I am, spend a moment and read the article.
Why should you take the time?
Consider this snippet from the article: "Understand this: Any healthy, intelligent, single man can have his finances in order and have a good sex life. Those two things are EXTREMELY important to men. If you want to make us happy, just avoid taking away those two things, and we won't care if we never get another card, present, cake, or gourmet dinner from you for the rest of our lives. We won't care whether or not the dishes shine or if the colors of our clothes are the brightest they could be."
Or, this: "Next time you want your husband to talk to you when he's got that contented look on his face with the unfocused gaze, don't say "What are you thinking?" He's probably thinking of some pleasant event in his past that has nothing to do with you, and now he has to stop thinking about it and dream up some bullshit answer that involves you, so your feelings won't be hurt. This is not the way to his heart."
In case you're wondering who John Ross is, he is the author of Unintended Consequences. If you have strong feelings about gun control, on either side of the argument, you have to read this book. It is about 900 pages long, so it isn't for triflers or anyone with a short attention span.
While you're waiting for Amazon to deliver your copy of Unintended Consequences, read some of Ross' other articles on his website. You won't be bored.