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Let’s Quarrel: One of the Most Vulnerable Aspects of Contemporary Marriage


“Don’t resist evil,” “do good in return for evil,” “bless those who curse you”… These biblical verses have baffled us and made our selfish souls afraid multiple times, haven’t they? Frankly speaking, it’s so far over our heads. Seeing how negligent we are towards our loved ones, we need to rewrite the commandments, “Don’t resist good” and “bless those who show mercy towards you.” This is the ABC of moral culture and respect; an instruction for those who lag behind and cannot cope with the curriculum.

There are many people who are pleasant to deal with only while everything is fine. Do they really deserve praise? Isn’t it natural that people act nicely when everything is okay? One has to be a good person even when everything goes wrong, right?

I recall my friends’ family who were so courageous as to give birth to many children in the 1990s. That decade was a difficult time in Russia. They literally didn’t have enough to eat. Their children seldom ate candies. They were happy when they managed to buy a pair of boots or even a pack of diapers. They couldn’t even dream of the things that we can easily afford today, such as household appliances or new furniture for the children’s room. Workers weren’t paid for half a year or more. Breach of trust and blatant lies became the norm for the emerging “wild market”. Their family barely survived thanks to random gigs, pickled food, and other tricks to make ends meet.

My friend was distressed when he ran into another case of ill luck or someone’s dishonesty. He had to rack his brain thinking how to feed his growing family. His attempts to earn some money sometimes failed, and their family budget was getting more and more strained. His young wife had to pull the weight of the everyday household chores while being overburdened with little kids. How surprisingly pleasurable it was to witness her talking her husband out of his sad thoughts and urging him not to worry but instead wait and be patient during the hard times.

It is a simple story with a straightforward lesson, you might say — and you’d be right. However, doesn’t it often happen that the head of the family, the breadwinner, when faced with a similar situation, is caught in the crossfire? He has problems at work and immediately there are unpleasant talks and arguments at home? His wife grabs at every opportunity to show her discontent, to remind her husband of his missteps and failures since the beginning of time. She beats up the person who is already wounded. She makes him resist, defend himself and justify his actions, and sometimes to counterattack until they both are too tired and too confused by the endless explanations, causes, and effects.

“That which is falling, deserves to be pushed” — this barbarian and immoral phrase coined by Friedrich Nietzsche isn’t declared openly but is often present in people’s relationships de facto. Without noticing it, you hit another person when he’s the most vulnerable and where it hurts the most — the only reason for it being your dissatisfaction with what you’ve got and your desire to have more because you keep thinking “I am entitled to it” or “Everyone else has it, but I’m missing out.”

We’re not talking exclusively about money here! Let’s say, a child falls ill, she has problems at school, or a neighbor’s water pipe was damaged and the water ended up your precious kitchen furniture. The whimsical and comfort-loving beast inside us is looking forward to such accidents. That one crisis is instantly followed by another one: the husband and the wife lose their temper. They become irritated and want to criticize one another. It happens exactly when the circumstances call for the need to support one another!

Now tell me please: Isn’t it silly to damage your relationship with the person you love right in the middle of some unpleasant event? Is it a good way to solve your problems? Do you expect to feel better after all that? Being patient and staying together is merely the most sensible thing to do. It’s inexplicable and weird that people damage their relationships, become inefficient and don’t demonstrate even those positive qualities that they used to have. It is silly and naïve that they try to blame the other person.

It is hard to remain a good person when something doesn’t go according to your plan…

Contemporary people are hard to please. They don’t lose their temper only if everything is fine. Any divergence from their initial plan disrupts the equilibrium. Any adversity may lead them to waive their obligations. Any non-fulfillment of their desires threatens to kick off a chain reaction of their painful rethinking of everything in the world. Only God knows how far the people who are influenced by these fluctuations can go!

In fact, our times aren’t particularly difficult. Circumstances vary, but if you look back into the past, even the more recent past, there have been more difficult times, haven’t there? Internal instability encroaches on us simultaneously with an unparalleled improvement of living conditions and a veritable revolution of comfort. We are conquered by a multitude of pleasant trifles that accompany each of us from dawn till dusk. Why is our willpower less reliable than it used to be? Strangely enough, the more one gets, the less satisfied one becomes. Our society appears to be the princess on a pea, who can’t tolerate even the slightest discomfort. Our immunity to failures is too weak: every failure to accomplish our plans and expectations threatens to destroy the bubble of “societal optimism” and cause an epidemic of mutual frustration.

What would happen to those who are unsettled by weather or less-than-perfect cappuccino foam, if they were miraculously sent into the aforementioned 1990s? It’s fairly easy to guess, isn’t it?

There are few things about our time more disgusting than lack of stamina and courage and almost complete absence of people who are easy to deal with, rain or shine. People who you can lean on. People who don’t re-consider their responsibilities all the time. People who remain true to themselves. People who know both how to be abased and how to abound: both to be full and to be hungry, as Apostle Paul says. People who are happy not only when they get something pleasant but always, in spite of the most peculiar and tricky situations.

“Don’t resist evil,” “recompense good in return for evil,” “bless those who curse you”… Yes, it’s so far over our heads. Let’s try at least not to add evil to evil and to remain good even when things go wrong.

In other words, let’s not increase entropy. There’s enough entropy in this world already!


By Andrei Rogozansky
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds


Source: https://foma.ru/davay-possorimsya-ob-odnom-iz-samyih-uyazvimyih-mest-sovremennyih-brakov.html

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