In married life, sooner or later, there may arise a situation when you become angry towards your spouse. Being emotionally closest to your spouse, you release your frustration upon them. However, it could be very difficult to handle a situation if it goes out of hand.
Usually, things that go out of control, start off as very minor difference of opinions or small misunderstandings. These can easily be solved with a little patience, open communication, and with a little humility towards each other. The best thing to do is to find a way to tactfully handle the troubled situation without getting frustrated. Let’s take a look at how Atma Gnani Pujya Dadashri skillfully handled a situation so as to avoid a conflict with his wife.
Dadashri: Once I had a conflict with Hiraba (my wife). Even I became trapped in a difficult situation. I used to call my wife, ‘Hiraba’. As a Gnani Purush, I can either address women as, ‘Ba’ (mother: gesture of respect towards elderly ladies) or as ‘dikri’ (daughter). If you are interested, I can tell you. It is not a long story, just a short one.
Questioner: Yes, do tell us.
Dadashri: One day we had a conflict of opinions (“conflict” or “difference of opinion”). The mistake was mine; Hiraba was not at fault.
Questioner: She may have made the mistake, but you claim it was yours.
Dadashri: Yes, but it was not her mistake, it was mine. I am the one who does not want any conflict. She did not care whether a conflict took place or not and because I did, it is considered my mistake. If I do this (Dada hits the chair), does the chair get hurt or do I get hurt?
Dadashri: Therefore, it is up to me to understand. So anyway, one day there was a conflict and I got trapped. Hiraba told me that her brother’s eldest daughter was getting married and then asked me what we should give her as a gift. It would have been fine if she had not asked me. Whatever she wanted to give her would have been just fine and I would not have objected. However, when she asked me, I responded according to my intellect and said, “Rather than having new silverware made, why don’t you take one or two pieces of the silverware we have in the cupboard and give them as a gift?” Do you know what her reply was? In our house words like ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ are never used. Only the words ‘our’ or ‘ours’ are used. So she said, “When your uncle’s son got married, you gave huge silver plates.” Now on that day, she used the words ‘mine’ and ‘yours,’ when normally she would say ‘ours.’ She would never make the separation of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’. This was the first time. I thought to myself, “Today I am trapped!” I realized my mistake instantly, and looked for an opportunity to get out of the predicament. Now, how could I mend this damage? The bleeding had already started, so how could I apply the bandage in order to stop the bleeding?
So on that day ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ took place. The situation went so far, that she used the words, “Your uncle’s son,” rather than “Our nephew.” I realized that I had made a major mistake. That day I saw that I was about to take a fall, so I immediately corrected myself. I turned the situation around quickly and completely. I told her, “I did not mean to say that! I am trying to say something else. There is a little misunderstanding on your part. I am not saying that.” Then when she asked me what I was trying to say, I replied, “Give her the silverware in addition to five hundred rupees. She could use the money!” In turn she replied, “You are so naive, how can you give so much?” At that point, I realized I had won over the situation. So then I told her, “You can give whatever you want to. All four of your nieces are like our own daughters.” At that point she became content! “You are truly divine,” she said.
You see I fixed the damage. I knew that if I had said five hundred rupees, she was not likely to give that much. I passed on the responsibility to her. I knew her nature. If I gave her five hundred rupees, she would give only three hundred. So tell me why would I have a problem in giving her the authority?
Reference: Book Name: Harmony in Marriage (Page #25 - Paragraph #6 to #8, Entire Page #26, Page #27 - Paragraph #1 & #2)
Let’s look at another example that Param Pujya Dadashri has given to tactfully avoid a conflict:
Dadashri: Let me offer another example. When Salia’s wife asked him to buy meat, it was a dilemma. Since his wages were very minimal, how could the poor man afford to buy any meat? His wife had been telling him for over a month, that their poor children keep asking for mutton. Then one day the wife gets irritated, so he tells her he will bring some meat that evening. He is always prepared with answers, because if he is not, she continues to nag at him. Upon her irritation, he immediately gave her a positive reply. “I will bring it today, I will bring it from wherever I have to,” he said. By saying this he prevented a quarrel. Thinking that he would bring meat home that day, as he had said, she became furious and started yelling, when he walked in empty-handed. Being the shrewd man that he is, Salia was able to pacify his wife by saying, “Dear heart, only I know my problems, you would not understand.” In the same manner, Salia uttered a few more sentences and turned his wife around. Rather than continuing to yell, she told him that he could bring the meat another time, and not worry. After fifteen days or so, the same scenario occurred again, and again he pleaded his condition to her, making her happy in the end. By dealing with these situations in such a way, he never has to fight.
Reference: Book Name: Harmony in Marriage (Page #33 - Paragraph #2, Page #34 - Paragraph #1)
1) Not allowing discord even for a minute, that is true husband. Just as the relation with a friend we do not let ruined, one should be equally careful with the wife. Our friendship with a friend will end if we do not protect it.
2) When is one considered to have learnt to become a husband? It is when the wife continuously experiences veneration (respect) for him.