Discussions on the husband-wife relationship are always of great interest to everyone, because they are so relevant to our daily life. For a woman, one of the secrets to success in the marital relationship is to learn the art of making her idea his idea...
As a wife, you may see that your husband has made an incorrect decision, but it is important to know your husband well enough to understand how to raise the subject without making him feel small or less intelligent before you. If he doesn't accept your carefully constructed opinion nicely, then hopefully sooner or later he may realise the impact of his words and actions himself.
In this regard, learning the tactic of making him feel that our idea is his idea may be very helpful. If a wife knows the art of humbly presenting her ideas and at the same time handing the final decision back to him, she will most likely have her desires fulfilled. In this way, she still voices her opinion and at the same time allows him to take charge.
Once a senior grihastha couple in Bangalore/South India shared their secrets with me of how they keep a harmonious marital relationship. He was revealing: "My wife serves me in such a devoted and submissive way - she is my better half! Whenever I have to make an important decision for our family, I will of course ask her for her opinion. How can I ignore her?!" And she shared: "Whenever my husband asks me for my opinion on things, I respond: 'If you ask me, I would like to do it in such-and-such a way. But you are my husband - you please make the decision. Whatever you decide will be fine for me.'" And she really means it - deeply from within her heart! She is not merely offering the words as lip-service. Needless to say, he will most likely do as she desires. In this way, she allows him to make the decision and be in control.
Had she tried to convince him in a strong and dominant tone of voice, almost threatening him in case he will not do as she suggests, her way of acting would be unpalatable and discouraging for her husband, and he would not feel inclined to follow her suggestion.
As another example, let us imagine the situation where a husband makes a rather impractical and almost foolish suggestion to his wife. He may say: "Let's go to the Himalayas on the weekend!" A clever wife will not immediately reject his idea by reasoning with him, indirectly pointing out that he is foolish and her own vision is more intelligent. No, rather will she initially welcome his idea by saying: "What a great idea! Let's think about it…!" In response, her husband will feel encouraged that his wife welcomes his idea. Then, after some time has passed, the wife can choose a quiet moment when she shares with him: "You know, I was contemplating your idea of going to the Himalayas on the weekend. Don't you think it may already be a bit cold? I am afraid it may start snowing. Maybe we should rather go to the lake and have a swim! What do you think?" In this way, she voices her fears and hands the decision over to him, which will invite him to agree with her. He will not feel rejected or foolish in her eyes by accepting her suggestion.
Had she immediately argued with him by trying to defeat his suggestion, he would have felt rejected and foolish, and it would have been difficult for his male pride to accept her idea.
All that is required in order to learn this art is our willingness to give up the credit for having had the idea - that we renounce the ego satisfaction of being the one who knew better. As soon as we try to get this satisfaction of being superior, the male ego will not like it and will react accordingly. Often out of spite he will do the opposite, even though he might understand that it would be the right thing to do.
On the 1st of June I flew on to Canberra....
Your servant, Devaki dd