How To Have a Happy Marriage

Humor can keep a marriage strong. In fact some problems, especially marriage problems get solved because we are will to accept the absurd as normal reality. This applies to game theory, life strategies and basic problem solving.

I accepted this as an epiphany of sorts during an argument my wife and I were having. Yup my wife and I had a bit of a tiff this week.  We were watching a movie about marriage and ruminating on why some couples stay together and others get divorced? Then we had a tiff about something.

Neither of us can remember what it was about but it was a tiff nonetheless. You see we are each from a different culture, religious background, racial heritage, and have differing and often oppositional tastes in almost every way.  To add to the differences I am 6’1” and she is 4’8” tall. I guess that the cause of the tiff is somehow tied to one of these differences… but I’m not sure.

Lilia and I never dated and she moved in with me the second time we met (I begged her to).  As I remember it the voices in my head said “Hey, Lewis, ask this woman that you don’t really know to move in with you” Of course I always do what the voices in my head tell me to do so I asked her, actually I begged her to stay. We got married in a year and many of our friends were convinced that we would be divorced in less than a year (sadly most of them are now divorced). We have spent well over a decade bickering about this or that. Our neighbors used to call us the “Bickerers”. (Oh they are now divorced as well).

I was single till I was forty seven and used to dazzle the ladies with my cooking skills. I only tell you this because Lilia doesn’t really like most of my cooking. I often create feasts for us and she send out for Chinese takeout.

Now all that being said we really do have something special. Trust and respect is at the top of the list and we’ve pretty much accepted what are often called by others as “irreconcilable differences”. Some say we have learned to compromise.  I’d rather call it drawing and seldom crossing a “line in the sand” that seems to be constantly moving. We often communicate effectively within an hour or two of any disagreement we may have. That might be the key to some sort of marital success.

A SHORT SEGUE

I want to say that greatly respect the Pope and the Dalai Lama but have always wondered how easy it would to be the Pope or the Dalai Lama if they had to deal with the quirks of marriage.

BACK TO THE BLOG

So as I was saying Lilia and I had this tiff while we were watching a movie about marriage and we began ruminating on why some couples stay together and others get divorced?

This tiff and our discussion about it reminded me of a funny story I pulled out of  Woody Allen’s movie “Annie Hall” about marriage.

The male and female parts can be switched. It doesn’t  matter.

Enjoy.

“A man goes to a psychiatrist and explains that his wife is insane.

“Maybe she is a bit eccentric” replies the psychiatrist. “You can learn to adjust to her behavior, after all marriage is compromise”.

“No” replies the man. “She is really crazy”

“What makes you so sure that she is crazy?” asks the psychiatrist

“She thinks she’s a chicken” Replies the man

“What?”

“She thinks she’s a chicken”

“What makes you think, that she thinks she is a chicken?” Asks the Psychiatrist

“Well she acts like a chicken”!

“I don’t understand” Replies the psychiatrist

The man explains. “Every morning she wakes up and starts to make clucking noises. Then she bends over and starts to peck at the floor like she is eating seeds. Then she waves her arms up and down like a chicken does.”

“Wow” say the psychiatrist, “Your wife really does think she is a chicken”.

“That’s what I told you” replies the man.

“Why do you stay married to her”? Asked the psychiatrist

The man responded instantly, without any thought or sense of irony. “Because I need the eggs!”

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ E-book “Everything You Need To Know About Staying Happily Married”. It is available for $7.00 and can be ordered directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

A Woody Allen Joke About Marriage

 

Game Theory based strategies deal not with mathematics  alone but with the idea that human often act irrationally

Thanksgiving is a time of family etc. My wife and I were watching  a movie about marriage and ruminating on why some couples stay together and others  get divorced?

Here is funny story, maybe a Zen Koan for you about marriage:

 

“A man goes to a psychiatrist and explains that his wife is insane.

“Maybe she is a bit eccentric” replies the psychiatrist. “You can learn to adjust to her behavior, after all marriage is compromise”.

“No” replies the man. “She is really crazy”

“What makes you so sure that she is crazy?” asks the psychiatrist

“She thinks she’s a chicken” Replies the man

“What?”

“She thinks she’s a chicken”

“What makes you think, that she thinks she is a chicken?” Asks the Psychiatrist

“Well she acts like a chicken”!

“I don’t understand” Replies the psychiatrist

The man explains. “Every morning she wakes up and starts to make clucking noises. Then she bends over and starts to peck at the floor like she is eating seeds. Then she waves her arms up and down like a chicken does.”

“Wow” say the psychiatrist, “Your wife really does think she is a chicken”.

“That’s what I told you” replies the man.

“Why do you stay married to her”? Asked the psychiatrist

The man responded instantly, without any thought or sense of irony. “Because I need the eggs!”

 

 

Who is Wilhelm Reich?

If you have an interest in Qi Gong, Corporate Chair Massage, Reiki, The Body-Mind Connection, equal rights for women, Tantra, Deep tissue massage, Rolfing, Personal Development, NLP, acupuncture, Polarity Therapy or anything thing related to mental health then it is important that you know about Wilhelm Reich.

This is a short history lesson on a major pioneer in psychiatry, bodywork anbd energy healing.

Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897 – November 3, 1957) was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical and controversial figures in the history of psychiatry. Reich worked with Sigmund Freud in the 1920s and was a respected analyst for much of his life, focusing on character structure rather than on individual neurotic symptoms. He attempted to reconcile Marxism and psychoanalysis, arguing that neurosis is rooted in the physical, sexual, economic, and social conditions of the patient. His work influenced a generation of intellectuals, including and shaped innovations such as Fritz Perls‘s Gestalt therapy, Alexander Lowen‘s bioenergetic analysis, and Arthur Janov‘s primal therapy. He was one of the first psychoanalysts who explored the concept of Qi calling it primordial cosmic energy, which he said others called God, and that he called “orgone“.  As he aged he promoted more and more controversial ideas, many that later became part of mainstream thinking including the availability of contraceptives, abortion, and divorce, and the importance for women of economic independence.  He began to violate many of the key taboos of psychoanalysis, including using touch during sessions. His work was so radical in thought and scope and such a threat to the status Quo that in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA, arguably one of the worst examples of censorship in U.S. history. He was the author of several notable textbooks, including The Mass Psychology of Fascism and Character Analysis, both published in 1933. Reich’s work and ideas are among the most influential in the formation of the human potential movement of the last half of the twentieth century. His ideas on Orgone, sexuality, and the link between, energy medicine, natural healing and bodywork is core to many therapies related to alternative and complementary medicine including my own and has had a powerful influence especially in the work of Fritz and Laura Perls,  Alexander Lowen, Ida Rolf and others.

If you are a wellness professional or seek to move beyond superficial ideas in your work I recommend exploring Reich

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Lewis Harrison, the author of the ebook “Healing Depression Naturally”, available through Amazon-Kindle.  He is a pioneer in the personal development movement and was one of the first individuals to offer chair massage at events and meeting through www.eventschairmassage.com. The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers seminar, workshops, retreats and phone based coaching. He is creating a series of ebooks entitled “Ask Lewis…” which will be available on line

Lewis offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and created the course on Life Strategies. He is the Director of the Healing Academy. Learn about Holistic Nutrition and health Coaching at  www.chihealer.com – a simple system for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Radical Thoughts on Love and Creating Family

Hello Friend,

This is an extract of a class I taught on problem solving and the psychology of groups.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt.

The concept of family is constantly changing. The so called “nuclear family” long in decline has been reinvented and refigured as gay and lesbian couples form families as part of larger communities of interest.

Many individuals of us trace our problems to the toxic, dysfunctional families in which we were raised.

Let’s explore the concept of family from an applied game theory and problem solving perspective.

There are three general models for families

1. Nuclear family

2. Traditional extended family

3. Polyamorous family model

Since the industrial revolution the trend in the west had been towards the nuclear family whereas in many other parts of the world, especially in China, as well as in nomadic tribal cultures, the extended family model was the natural choice.

The nuclear family model definitely has its benefits. For one, it gives freedom to the creative person who has a need to express his or her individuality.

This is not easy to do in the extended family model where a person is expected to take care of elderly parents and other relatives who may be in need. As a natural response to the growth of the nuclear family model other system especially social service agencies were created to provide lodging and basic services to those who could not take of the themselves and who could not look for that support through the nuclear family model.

For the elderly a balance between the nuclear family and the sense of community that comes from developing friendships with those with similar interests, and making use of community services including education and entertainment frees that person from dependency upon the whims, and control of an adult child.

In the nuclear model what the Confucians named filial piety often clashes with the needs of the individual. The Polyamorous family model whether monogamous or not in its attitudes towards sexuality is well suited for natural, loving symbiotic relationships. This model offers the best of the nuclear family and the extended family while freeing family members of imposed morality as dysfunctional and impractical rules and regulations.

Polyamorous family structures can offer an enlightened system of loving reciprocity.

Being independent can mean many things. For some it includes defining meaning and purpose in life by serving others with generosity and kindness.

The days are past where society can force the obligation of caring for family members, especially parental care, upon us. It has at the same time given us tools to care for those who have cared for us as a natural choice.

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Lewis Harrison, the author of this blog is a speaker, consultant, and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. He is a  pioneer in the personal development movement  The author of nine  self help books on human potential he offers seminar, workshops, retreats and phone based coaching. He is creating a series of ebooks entitled “Ask Lewis…” which will be available on line.

00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Lewis offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and created the course on Life Strategies www.How ToSolveAny Problem.com  –  a simple system for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.