Is It a Lack of Sex or Laziness?

Divorcing spouses do not see problems in the same way. In fact, they are usually arguing about two different things without realizing it. If they saw the underlying facts of their controversy in the same way, they probably wouldn’t be in conflict to begin with.

Here’s another way of saying it: most disputers think they are in conflict because they cannot agree on a solution. What they fail to realize is that the conflict exists because they cannot agree on the problem.

An example: Husband wants more romance in the marriage and talks to Wife about his feelings. Wife responds by saying that Husband never helps her out around the house and he watches too much television.

Husband thinks the conflict is about the frequency of their intimacy. Wife thinks the conflict is about Husband’s laziness and lack of appreciation for all she does. Doesn’t he understand that she also would like to watch television? Instead, she works herself into near exhaustion, and her reward is to hear him ask for more pleasure in his already soft life.

If you gave truth serum to each of them, Husband would say that Wife was making too much of his so-called laziness and that laziness really has nothing to do with intimacy. He is resentful because she has grown indifferent to his needs.

Wife would say that Husband cannot reasonably expect her to be more amorous when she barely has enough time to brush her teeth. She is resentful because he is not appreciative of her sacrifices. She develops a belief that he is the one who has become indifferent.

Husband’s “logic” fits the facts that only he sees. This “logic” is lost on Wife because she sees an entirely different set of facts (which are unknown to Husband). Likewise, Wife (who does not know that Husband sees different facts) bases her “logic” on facts that only she sees.

We apply our thinking to a solution using facts that do not exist in the other party’s mind. One party’s “logic” can only be persuasive to someone who sees the facts in the same way that that party does. Needless to say, this does not occur as often as we need it to.