By Lana

About 10 years ago I invited our neighbours for dinner and we enjoyed an evening of wine and conversation. I had a lot of affinity for the couple, who had been together for more than 20 years, and had grown up children and young grandchildren already, but I was surprised as the evening progressed as both of them were constantly snipping and snapping at each other. It was a perpetual game of invalidating the other in every conversation and though I initially thought it was a bit of banter and fun, as the night progressed it became clear that it was a long term issue for the both, and they could not simply be there and communicate with each other without cutting each other up.

A few years later they split up and they are now divorced.

Then as I visited my father and his long-term partner, I noticed the same behaviour. Things seemed civil, but as an evening progressed with a few bottles of wine, their conversation became increasingly critical of each other, cutting each other up and being just plain nasty. I found it strange and confronting, as I was not used to such overt hostilities with guests sitting at the table.

I started to watch for the same behaviour and have now experienced two other family couples that also do the same. One is an elderly aunt and uncle who were so dramatically hating each other that they were hard to be around. They are unhappy people who seem to think the only relief from their unhappiness is to cut down the imagined “source’ of their problems – their spouse. The result is two very miserable people.

My most recent encounter was with my mother, who has been frustrated with my step-dad as he is a hoarder. She told me that while he is away for the next 10 days she is going to go through his belongings and toss out a bunch of old shoes, clothes and personal items that he refuses to part with, but has not worn or used in over 20 years. He is critical of her, and she is critical of him, and on a continued basis they are committing overts or creating missed withholds that will make their life together even worse. We had a long discussion and I pointed out that throwing away her spouse’s prized possessions while he is not home, is not a good recipe for a happy marriage. Certainly his hoarding is an issue — but trying to resolve it without his agreement or consent is going to result in more hostilities and though it may make the closet a little lighter, it will make the animosity in the household heavier. She agreed and is no longer going to carry out her plan.

It is sad that couples do this.

All of this has made it much clearer to me that the only way to have a successful long-term relationship is with OPEN and HONEST communication. It is vital to have consideration for the other and grant them respect.

‘Clean hands make a happy life’ is not a catch-phrase – but actually a rule for living that that really does work.

I also have renewed understanding that it takes two people to be in a games condition. If one person starts to snip and snap at their spouse, it can be resolved with straight and honest communication – not by having the other party then fall into the same pattern of committing small continual overts and withholds agains the other as a justification or solution.

If a person does not commit an overt (large or small) on their spouse, they won’t find themselves feeling upset, critical, nattery or simply hostile towards him/her.

And if they work to keep affinity, reality and communication and thus understanding high, then life on the home front remains smooth, fun, loving and enjoyable.

It is never to late to start to repair a relationship — and if you have witnessed the same sort of behaviour between couples, or within your own relationship, my advice is take action to resolve it, as it is the dwindling spiral of a tangled tango that destroys relationships and brings unhappiness.



9 thoughts on “Takes two to tango

  1. There are three life improvement courses (“Creating a Successful Marriage”, “Maintaining a Happy Marriage”, “Salvaging a Marriage”). They cover topics like ARC, cycle of action, third party law, tone scale. Quick summary of all three:

    Communication is key. Partners should be around the same tone scale level (quick check: same communication lag) and intellect. Keep communication lines clean, put theta/ARC on them. Understand the relationship of ARC and the tone scale to spot issues and correct them. Know how to spot and correct ARC breaks (C is entry point, create more R, results in higher A). Understand the cycle of action: both (or the whole family) need to create the marriage (or family) every day anew. Know what overts and withholds are, many are from times before the marriage or developed over time; spot and pull them. Simply postulating a healthy marriage without removing the overts and withholds won’t work. Scientology’s two golden rules: (1) “Be able to experience anything.” (2) “Cause only those things which others are able to experience easily.” To be happy, one needs to be able to confront; otherwise one becomes the effect of problems and can’t even spot them. Know that when you try to get order into something, that at first more disorder shows up; just get through it and focus on creating order, not removing disorder. If there are troubles that can’t be solved by the above, look for a third party that ruins the show.

  2. I feel for you, Lana. Thank you for bringing this subject up.

    There is probably no greater area for the Scientologist to work with than here, on the Second Dynamic. As we know, before O/Ws kick in, the primary breakdown in any relationship, whether that’s between couples, parents and their children, or on any flow, it’s the Comm. And that means ARC. LRH rightly places Comm at the center of any relationship, and particularly in our relationship, Theta/MEST.

    What does the woman want? What does the man want? What does the child want? And as you pointed out in an earlier post Lana, Distrust and Revolt, there is the problem of exchange.

    Possibly more than anything, is the problem of the bank, and especially earlier similars, and on other dynamics and their flows.

    Indeed, it is a tangled web.

    The Scientology auditor with his trusty meter can solve this in a jiff.

    So how does one help? A fine starting point could be to get each party to read You Can Be Right HCOB https://goo.gl/1kjWHf . It is written in a language anyone can understand. LRH, bless him, knew that each party was right, and always will be to their dying day.

    If that has any slightest benefit, then the next stage would be to get the parties to read TWTH, the sanest approach to living ever written.

    There is also the problem of the Third Party: https://goo.gl/DDcZ3e, an extremely worthwhile read if the auditor thinks may be needed.

    The man/woman relationship is crucial to our survival as a human species. If it were to universally fail, the human race would be extinct in one generation. Fortunately, there is immense goodwill between the sexes: men adore their women, as women adore their men. All that gets in between is the third party bank, and it can appear insurmountable.

    But Theta is senior to the bank, in a way that cannot be described in words. The love one feels for another, whether it is someone you know or don’t, your partner, or a stranger including your new-born child, is off the scale. There is nothing in MEST and its distractions can compare. To say that love conquers all would be the understatement of our entire existence as human beings.

    For sure she loves him; for sure he idolises her. But Mr Bank has something to say, and his motive is to cut comm and break people up. Sigmund Freud was the first to realise, “What am I missing?” “What am I not Seeing?”

    It is my own, personal experience that people do not want to throw their relationships away, it is just that there has been a breakdown in communication. What may seem trivial beyond belief to one party, can be catastrophic to the other. The meter will spot this immediately – for both parties.

    It’s actually really easy for the Scientologist mediator: he needs to keep his TRs in and want to help.

    I am pretty sure that every single one of my past loves still has a little space in her heart for me, as I have for them. Every single one of them can be reconciled and made good.

    I truly believe that it’s all good, if we have a mind to make it so.


  3. I’ve been married to the same woman for 29 years, and I can attest to everything you’ve said. We don’t have snippy conversations and snipe at each other. Our marriage has changed over the years as we have. We do have the rare argument, sometimes quite heated. But these are brief intervals, and don’t last beyond the moment. It is still a loving, playful and fun relationship.

    I could give people lots of advice. But LRH has pretty much covered it.

    I will suggest the following, though, all based on LRH Tech. Do Conditions and Exchange By Dynamics at some point before you get married. If needed, get an FPRD 2D list done (my wife did this). And even though it’s not romantic, I’d strongly suggest a full Non-Existence formula with your prospective spouse. Lay out your respective hats as clearly as you can, and who makes what decisions on what subjects. Work out how you can work as a team, because you’re going to be on this team for quite a long time, if things go as they should.

    Your spouse will, in all likelihood have shortcomings, from your view. Learn to grant him/her beingness. And right from the beginning, make sure you respect and admire him/her.

    It’s a two-terminal universe. And if you’re wise, your spouse will be the other terminal.


  4. For those interested in this branch of work, Ron gives a fabulous way of patching up a marriage at the end of his lecture, The E-Meter, 19May1961. It’s a brilliant lecture and highly recommended even if, like me, one is not meter trained. It’s just a short note Ron makes, at 1:28:40, and it’s currently on YouTube, https://goo.gl/JCfips

  5. Public Message to Jonathon B:

    You have been recently posting hostile comments on this blog – starting with a disconnection notice, and then a private message that you are disconnecting from us as you feel you are a Suppressive. Since that point, you have been sending increasingly nattery and critical blog comments about me (most of which have been moderated/trashed) or private emails.

    You claim that I have failed to get you auditing in 3 1/2 years, however to date every effort I make to find out what auditing is needed, where you are on the Bridge and where you are located gets snubbed or used as an excuse to natter and complain about Scientology and auditors in general.

    In case you did not know – I am located in Australia. Not the USA. I am not the D of P for the world, and simply work to network standard LRH auditors and preclears so that we can continue up LRH’s Bridge. Your case troubles, injustices and upsets from 20 – 30 years ago are not my problem or my job to resolve – though from your communications it would seem you think I am responsible for your case. I have sent you at least 15 emails to try and assist, gather more information and find out if you actually want auditing help, but these have failed. At least 3 times you have stated you don’t want auditing or help – and then come back with another email blaming me for not helping.

    Sorry to hear you are so disgruntled and upset but at this time — despite my best efforts, I cannot help you.

    I will not be posting any more of your comments on this blog if they are antagonistic, blaming or heavily critical. Any other ARCful and helpful communications will always be accepted.

    Good luck.

  6. One of the best things I can recommend for a good marriage is the co-auditing of the Grades with your spouse, including Sec Checks.
    – And it is so much fun!!!
    A gradient could be to do TRs together. Without confront communication can become weak.

  7. There are many gradients of improvement. Once I helped a couple by disciplining them to let the partner complete his/her communication when they were with me. It bettered their relation, also when they were on their own.
    Therefore, what gradient could bring about some improvement, could be a key question.

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