Marriage and MAF

So you are married. Your spouse is the person you chose to spend your life with—a rather big and important decision. He or she does lots of things that make you feel valued and happy and some things that make you feel disappointed or embarrassed. Welcome to the real world!

All of us have married human beings. Human beings tend to be generous, kind, clever, funny, helpful, caring, and sweet. Human beings also are HUMAN. They make mistakes. They aren’t always as compassionate, considerate, or thoughtful as others sometimes wish they were.

So we find fault. We look at the human failings and we are appalled.

“How could you say that if you really love me!”
“What were you thinking!”

And our poor human partner is thinking, “Huh? What did I do now!”

And that is the way that arguments begin. The hurt one needs not just an admission of guilt from the other, but an apology.

Now that is a problem. There is one gender whose apology gene is recessive. It has to come from both its mother and its father and people of that gender who have such a gene are very rare. There are people from the other gender who also have great difficulty coming to grips with their imperfection.

So what is one to do?

There is one strategy that can be used. It is akin to the Cold War strategy of mutually assured destruction. In that case, the threat of destruction to both sides kept each from attacking the other.

In a marriage, what is needed is mutually assured forgiveness (MAF). That is, that as long as each is acting in good faith and means to do the right thing, the other will agree not to dwell on a thoughtless action.

Such a policy can lead to (MAH) mutually assured happiness. Try it; you’ll like it.

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  1. frank spigel says

    You remind me of a toast I used at my niece’s wedding.
    It was something I learned from one of my Yoga teachers. Her 3 A’s were adjust, adapt & accomodate.
    After I made my toast my sister-in-law told how much she liked as as did many of my brother’s friends.
    I think those 3 A’s are something that is applicable to a good marriage.