If you want to save
your marriage, influence, not force is the way! In truth, no one can
really make anyone do anything they don’t want to do, unless they
willingly consent. Consent may be expressed or implied, but when freely
given, results in a receptive attitude and cooperative outcome.
Consider my version of the Aesop fable of the Great North Wind, the Sun
and the Traveler.
Once upon a time, the
Great North Wind and the Sun argued about which of the two was the
strongest. They spotted a lone Traveler, who was wearing a heavy
overcoat, walking along a deserted path. The Great North Wind and the
Sun decided to put their powers to a test and agreed that whoever could
make the Traveler remove his overcoat would win.
The Great North Wind
went first. He huffed and puffed and blew the Traveler’s coat open,
whereupon the Traveler refastened his coat without much ado. Again the
Great North Wind huffed and puffed and huffed and puffed and ripped all
the buttons away and even pushed the coat off the Traveler’s shoulders.
The Traveler hung on tightly and steeled himself against any further
threats or assaults.
Once more, the Great
North Wind huffed and puffed and huffed and puffed and huffed and puffed
and knocked the Traveler down to the ground. The heavy overcoat flopped
in the wind. One arm had completely come out of the sleeve. The body of
the coat was also atop the Traveler’s head. However, whenever a person
is confronted with a hostile force, human nature seems to assert itself
with an avenging counter-force. The Traveler, sensing danger, clung to
his coat (of defensive armor) with all his might. The Great North Wind
Then the Sun came out
and said “now it’s my turn”, whereupon the Sun gently, but very slowly,
warmed the sojourner’s path. After a while, the Traveler began to wipe
his brow and thought “hmm, it’s getting a bit warm, so I think I’ll take
off my coat, now, for the remainder of my journey”. The Sun knew he
could never force the Traveler to remove his heavy overcoat unless the
Traveler consented to work collaboratively with the Sun to remove the
coat by his own choice. The Sun succeeded where the Great North Wind had
So, too, in a
If you want to save
your marriage, “influence, not force”, is the way!
Back to Top
For a print version of the specific
document on this webpage, you are welcome to click
Not Force" subject to the following terms:
Before using, accessing, downloading,
or copying and/or printing any pages on this website, please read NICA's
By using this Northern Illinois
Counseling Associates, P.C. (NICA) website and its services, you
acknowledge notification of the terms of service and attest to an
understanding of, acceptance of, and agreement to all of its terms of