30 (33) Tips to Stay Married 30 (33) Years: Repeat it Back

“Quite obviously you don’t think alike,” Kirk said, “or both of you would have offered that remark simultaneously and in the same words.”

“True but not relevant, Captain, if I may so observe,” said Spock Two, “Even if we thought exactly alike at the moment of creation of the replicate, from then on our experiences differ slightly —beginning, of course, with the simple difference that we occupy different positions in space-time. This will create a divergence in our thinking which will inevitably widen as time goes on.”

“The difference, however, may remain trivial for some significant time to come.” said Spock One.

“We are already disagreeing, are we not?” Spoke Two said coldly, ‘That is already a nontrivial difference.”

James Blish Spock Must Die 1970

This was a piece of advice that came up in conversation with a couple who have been married 47 years who my wife and I was visiting. I was so impressed with this piece of advice that it is our final piece of advice.

“When you have something to convey to your partner, when you’ve told them, ask him or her to repeat back what they understood you to say, not what they heard you say but what they understood you to say.”

No matter what the culture or academics say men and women are different but more than that PEOPLE are different and understand things differently. You can have five eye witnesses to an event and each will have a different spin on what they saw.

People in a marriage are no different, they have different backgrounds, different experiences and different way of looking at things, they can see and hear the same thing and come back with totally different interpretations of it.

So when you say something that’s really important don’t assume he or she thinks you mean what YOU think you mean. Ask them to say how they took it.

This has the potential to save days of potential arguments.

My thanks to Mar Mar and Mike for this input. I wish I had heard it 30 years earlier.

The 30 (33) tips so far

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