First I want to assure you that you did read the title of this article correctly. This is NOT about the birds and the bees (I assume your parents, or a friend, had that discussion with you years ago). This is about the BEAR and the bees. It’s one of Aesop’s fables. It goes like this.

A bear came upon on a fallen tree in which a swarm of bees stored their honey. As he began to nose around, one of the bees stung him. The bear lost his temper and attacked the tree with his claws, hoping to destroy the nest. But this brought out the whole swarm of bees. The bear had to flee and saved himself only by diving into a pool.
The moral of the fable: It’s much smarter to bear a single bruise in silence than to provoke a thousand by flying into a rage.

Oh, and doesn’t this bear true in our marriage? How often do we react badly to our spouse’s sting only to find that it leads to us getting stung again?’Ya but Mort, I shouldn’t have to put up with that crap.’
Yes you should. Not always, but sometimes. I’m not suggesting that you become a doormat. But our responsibility as a husband or a wife is to give our spouse some leeway sometimes. People make mistakes. People say things they don’t mean. People have bad days. Your job, sometimes, is to sympathize with your spouse, realize that whatever they snapped at is not about you, and just let it go. Don’t sting back. You’ll just provoke the swarm and make matters worse.

Try it once this week. I’m sure your spouse will slip once, say something biting or obnoxious. Let them off the hook. Let it go. Don’t retaliate. Just let it fade.

Learning when to be silent is an important skill in marriage that can save you a lot of unnecessary pain. Practice SILENCE at least once this week. Good luck.

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About the Author

Mort Fertel

Mort Fertel is a world authority on the psychology of relationships and has an international reputation for saving marriages. In addition to working with couples, he teaches individuals how to single-handedly transform their marital situation.


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