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Relationships, Experience and Self Help Books

10 Mar 2010
Luminous Idea
Image by Tiago Daniel via Flickr

Experience is one thing that never seems to go on sale for me.  Generally purchased via a broken part or broken heart or embarrassment, I seem to have gained a lot so far in my life.  I have been taught and told a lot of things, but skepticism has caused me to test it out for myself.  Whether it is stupidity or curiosity I have found myself in some predicaments that could have easily been avoided had I just listened to the wise words of someone else… or simply read the directions.   But where is the fun in that?

I do read directions.  It’s just not my first choice.  I know people who won’t do anything unless they have directions to follow.  I fall somewhere between, usually I’ll break out the directions after a few failed attempts or in cases where the tasks at hand are over my knowledge base, which unfortunately is often.

The one subject I have avoided consulting the rulebook on is for relationships.  You know the self-help guides to a better relationship?  I know men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but I could not tell you why.  I’m just not into self-help books on relationships.  Why are there so many books on making relationships better?  Maybe if people stopped reading so much on improving things with their spouse and used that time to do something together they might find their relationship improves.  Want to communicate better with your wife?  Start talking to her.  Want to improve your sex life?  Have more sex and talk about it.  The health of a relationship can be measured by the amount of quality communication, not by the number of books on the shelf.

I know the books are good and very helpful, right?  Maybe just reading a book might point out that the problem is not with me, and somehow I’ll find that golden paragraph that will shine off the page while chimes ring from the tower that proves the point that makes all my crazy behavior justified.  Rays of golden sun shining down on me as the paragraph is shown to my wife… and then the record scratches.  That is so not going to happen.

I know though, the reality is that most of the time the problem is with me, and I would never find that golden paragraph that makes my point.  There is a little voice that lets me know when I should probably do something or not do something.  The problem is I used to ignore it… a lot!  Now I just ignore it sometimes and things have greatly improved.

I guess I’m not as feisty as I once was, being right is not as important as being happy… and I learned that from experience!

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From → Living

2 Comments
  1. Trina permalink

    I had a very wise professor in grad school that said we should always ask ourselves, “Would you rather be right or at peace?” Amen, brother.

  2. I heard someone say once that if you and your spouse are introspective and individually work on your own issues, there’s never a need for relationship counseling. I feel the same way about these books.

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