Understand each other pt 2 - the excerptpg 32-33(when things start to get crazy...) "We begin gently by warning the other, then by scolding, by imploring and by finally threatening. Yet non of these takes effect. Then comes the well-known expression: "I cannot understand him (or her- for each 'him'))..." Then comes the temptation to withdraw into oneself in order to lessin the risk of conflict, the tempation to abdicate. ....
The next phase will develop according to the direction which the previous phase as taken. It may be the progressive giving up in the struggle for happpiness: resentment, bitterness, rebillion "My husband is not the man I believed he was...""my wife is not at all what I thought her to be..." "I made a terrible mistake..." at this point they may begin to think of divorce. Or else, they may live an existance of endless disputing, never settled. Again, they may work out a a form of agreement by the capitulation of one of the partners to the other who thus gives up his own personality. Or they may yet work out an agreement on a much inferior level, throwing the axe handle after the axe. Each will withdraw from the other, organizing his own life and becoming more and more secretive.
the second direction is that of courage. This means the courageous acceptance of reality : taking one's partner such as he is, divested of the flatttering halo which we had put over him. It means a real attempt undertaken to understand this so-far-from-attractive partner. Indeed, he (she) has faluts: he has problems which he ahas not succeded in solving. He does not understand himself and he reacts most distastefully when his faults are pointed out. He reacts in this way precisely b/c he does not fell capable of overcoming his faults. But he can be helped in a quite different fashion: simply by loving him, not so much for his qualities as for his problems. He can helped simply by undertstanding him, understanding what he missed in his childhood years and what he is still missing, and by seeking to fill that need.
thus it is the matter of facing up to our problems rather than avoiding them, of tackling them together and seeking together their soultion by a more penetrating understanding both of self and one's partner.