Listen, Learn, and Love - 3 Keys to Harmony

Dr. Joan's Advice

Date: 04/20/2013

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Take Charge of Your Mistakes

Dear Big Guy:

I see a quadruple whammy here and it hit you right between your eyes, just as it should. First, your wife was making plans for a family reunion and all of a sudden you announced you were leaving town. Good grief! No wonder she was upset. Her extensive planning had to be scrubbed. Second, on top of that, your wife was hurt because she has been accompanying you on other recent business trips, and all of a sudden you’re heading out alone. Double trouble. The third insult is that you did not immediately take responsibility for keeping her in the dark. You blamed your boss for scheduling a last minute trip, and then you blamed your electronic calendar for not beeping to remind you to tell your wife about it. Fourth, you blamed your wife for not understanding.

This is your mess, Big Guy. It is not the fault of your boss or your electronic calendar, for goodness sake! Aren’t you the one who makes it beep? Did you put the trip in your calendar so it would beep? Least of all, it is not your wife’s fault that she is disappointed and upset.

When we try to blame our mistakes on someone or something else, like last minute changes in plans, or some mechanical screw-up, then we are not able to take responsibility in a mature fashion. Also, we are using a form of "control" over others when we try to cast blame onto our partner for not understanding that we are very important and have an extremely busy work schedule.

It doesn’t matter how the mistake occurred. What matters is that we take responsibility for making the mistake. When a person is adult enough to take responsibility, then that person is easy to be with and is viewed as trustworthy. That same person is able to talk about the mistake openly and make it right.

OK, you have taken the first step toward repairing your relationship with your wife. You admit here, in this forum, that you made a mistake. Now admit it to your wife, pronto, and ask her forgiveness. Make it right.

Gabby Douglas, the Olympic gymnast, observed, "You always have the opportunity to turn the upside down around and make it right side up!"

Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: TAKE charge of your misTAKE.

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