So, what do you do now when you have stopped talking about retirement money? You first promise with yourself that you will find a purpose that you can share with your wife and you do it out flashy. And be ambitious. Say it; don’t just think it. “I want to find an answer that doesn’t just work for the two of us; I want to find an answer that reinforces us, re-constructs us, and helps us adore each other more. I wish to find a method through this dialogue that makes our rapport stronger than when we started.”
Once you have dedicated yourself to finding a shared purpose, commit to be considerate enough, listen to what she has to say about her purpose. Say it; don’t just think it. That’s right. Start by listening—really listening. You’ll get your turn to share your purpose, doubts, positions, and worries. You will. And, this is my personal guarantee to you that if you promise to hearing what she has to say first, you will build safety in new and insightful ways. Fact remains, when a purpose that is shared between two people in a relationship is hardest to find, listening to the other person is the best goal to have. What does that mean? It means that in an essential conversation, your spouse’s purpose is to be heard, and to have you listen and understand. You don’t have to necessarily agree, but simply understand and validate. So, if your aim in the interaction is to hear, listen and understand her, then that is a realistic goal right there. And that is a very appropriate starting point.
How to capture the spirit of reconciliation? How to break the ice?
The other day, while my seven-year-old grandson, Taseen, and I took a walk through the Race Course Park; the little guy picked up a rock and threw it into an irrigation channel. And then, in the innocent manner, he looked up at me and whispered, “I love you.” Much to my delight, this vibrated loose the memory of an incident I hadn’t thought about for over half a century.
This particular memory started with what should have been a harmless trip of Khala Hidayat at our house one fine morning. It was the spring of 1959, I was seven years old, and Mom decided she needed to talk to her friend at length. Five minutes later, my brother Liaqat and I started to get on her nerves. “I’m going to be chatting for a while,” Mom said anxiously. “Why don’t you boys play outside with the kids in the neighborhood?”
I decided to stay put but my elder brother drifted away. At age eleven, my brother was wild, so he set off for points unknown.
After talking with Khala Hidayat for nearly half an hour, she shouted, “Boys! Kidher murr gay o?”
I was right there —but Lako was nowhere to be seen.
“Go find your brother,” Mother urged.
It was a little convoluted neighborhood.
Unfortunately, getting to him was quite an ordeal but he was finally spotted right in the middle of the graveyard where he was being bullied by 2 Butt brothers, Sheeda and Meeda; stone-cold criminals. I was about to be their next victim, however they took mercy on me. I got lucky that day but my brother was under siege.
“Want to rescue the big bro?”
Butt brothers merely laughed. Fighting was useless.
They offered up a plan: “If you want us to let your brother go, you’ll have to do something for it.”
“What?” I asked.
The bigger Butt announced as he nodded his head knowingly. I couldn’t imagine what he had in mind, but whatever he had concocted, I’d gladly do it. Lako was my best friend, my protector, my big brother.