Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
“But she doesn’t agree with my strategy for dealing with the problem.”
Your wife is a wise woman. I just hope she doesn’t expect you to change.
I half agree with what you are saying here and I half do not, Evidence.
I am not generally a non-yielding person AT ALL. When it comes to things like what movie to go see or what restaurant to eat at, I ALWAYS am the one who defers to the other person. It is a very rare thing for me to demand to have my way. People who know me would not describe me as stubborn. That reality would suggest that I would be very open to change if my wife suggested a different way of proceeding.
The other reality is that there is a pattern in my life that has only appeared on a small number of occasions but that I do think evidences itself in behavior that mystifies a lot of people. The most dramatic case was when my parents wanted me to go to a Catholic high school and I wanted to go to the public high school. They pressured me into agreeing to go to the Catholic high school for one year by saying that they would not oppose my decision to go the public high school after that year. Then they pressured me again and I agreed to go a second year. And then a third year. And then I was adamant and we had a World-War-III style battle over the thing. Temple University ended up agreeing to take me in without me attending my senior year and everyone was happy. My father told me after that happened that he wasn’t worried about me giving in to peer pressure to take drugs because I was “like steel” when I set my mind to something.
There are a small number of cases where something similar has happened. So I think the proper way to describe me would be to say that I am non-stubborn in general but very stubborn when certain conditions apply that make the issue at hand appear in my mind to be one of great consequence.
In the high school matter, the issue in play on the surface was that I wanted to grow my hair long and that wasn’t permitted in the Catholic school. When the issue is described that way, I come off sounding like an idiot. My parents loved me and wanted the best for me. I never had any doubt of that. So why make such a fuss because I couldn’t grow my hair long for a few more years?
The deeper reality is that I felt a need to separate myself from my parents and assert my independence. All young people have to do that, it is not healthy if they never take steps to make that break. So there actually were good reasons for me to take so firm a stand. If I had it to do over, I would play it differently. I think I behaved immaturely. I had good reason — I was immature! But I do possess an understanding of why I did what I did. I have an understanding of what my parents did too. I wouldn’t want to see my boys repeat my behavior if similar circumstances evidenced themselves. But I don’t beat myself up for what I did. I am at peace about it even though I see things from a different perspective today.
I have reasons for why I feel that I need to stand firm re the investing matter. You know those reasons. And my wife does too. To me those reasons seem very, very, very compelling. To you they do not. I would characterize my wife as being somewhere in the middle of the two extreme positions. She sees my reasons as being more compelling than you do but less compelling than I do.
You are saying that she should accept that I will never change. Yes and no. The principle that is at stake will always be compelling to me. It is impossible for me to imagine circumstances in which that would change. To that extent, I agree with your statement.
But my experience (both in the high school situation and in others) is that matters of this nature are sometimes resolved as the result of unexpected developments. In the high school matter, everyone was happy when Temple accepted me under their early admissions program. My parents did not say “Oh, you still cannot grow your hair long” and I didn’t say “Oh, I still want to rebel in some way and not go along with a solution that makes you happy.” So everything worked out. The sticking point (that I needed to have some say over the length of my hair and that the Catholic school that my parents approved of did not permit this at the time) was removed.
It is my expectation that some development of that nature will come along to bring on a resolution of the investing conflict. Oh Lord, let it be soon!
I don’t know what that resolution will be.
But you can guess at the sorts of possibilities that I envision by reading my posts here.
I love the Buy-and-Holders. They are heroes to me. I think they made a mistake in taking such a hard line and I think that a lot of them regret that mistake today. I believe that there someday will be circumstances that will cause them to ease up just a notch and that then they will see me evidence my love for them and wish that we had worked the matter out a long time ago. I cannot give details because I cannot foresee the details. But it is my belief that something along those lines will happen one of these days.
Something similar will probably happen with my wife. She is not against me and I of course am not against her. We have different sets of life experiences and so we come at the matter from different perspectives. There will come a day when one of us will try out an idea that all along we thought would not work and we will find that it will work. We are not enemies any more than you Goons and I are enemies. So it does not make sense to rule out the possibility of a resolution that brings something close to complete satisfaction to both parties.
People don’t always communicate effectively. People get their backs up and cut off certain lines of inquiry. Then circumstances change a bit and they open themselves to new possibilities and great things are achieved with everybody involved feeling good about it. That’s what I think will happen here.
Neither side will win and neither side will lose. BOTH sides will win.
This is what I believe. I hope what I am saying here makes at least a small bit of sense to you.
I extend my best and warmest wishes to you and yours.