《人性的弱点》第6篇 第2章 爱--就让他自在的生活

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"I May Commit many follies in life," Disraeli said, "but I never intendto marry for love." And he didn't. He stayed single until he wasthirty-five, and then he proposed to a rich widow, a widow fifteenyears his senior; a widow whose hair was white with the passing offifty winters. Love? Oh, no. She knew he didn't love her. She knewhe was marrying her for her money! So she made just one request:she asked him to wait a year to give her the opportunity to study hischaracter. And at the end of that time, she married him.

Sounds pretty prosaic, pretty commercial, doesn't it? Yetparadoxically enough, Disraeli's marriage was one of the mostglowing successes in all the battered and bespattered annals ofmatrimony.

The rich widow that Disraeli chose was neither young, nor beautiful,nor brilliant. Far from it. Her conversation bubbled with a laughprovokingdisplay of literary and historical blunders. For example, she"never knew which came first, the Greeks or the Romans." Her tastein clothes was bizarre; and her taste in house furnishings wasfantastic. But she was a genius, a positive genius at the mostimportant thing in marriage: the art of handling men.

She didn't attempt to set up her intellect against Disraeli's. When hecame home bored and exhausted after an afternoon of matchingrepartee with witty duchesses, Mary Anne's frivolous patter permittedhim to relax. Home, to his increasing delight, was a place where hecould ease into his mental slippers and bask in the warmth of MaryAnne's adoration. These hours he spent at home with his ageing wifewere the happiest of his life. She was his helpmate, his confidante,his advisor. Every night he hurried home from the House ofCommons to tell her the day's news. And—this is important—whatever he undertook, Mary Anne simply did not believe he couldfail.

For thirty years, Mary Anne lived for Disraeli, and for him alone. Evenher wealth she valued only because it made his life easier. In return,she was his heroine. He became an Earl after she died; but, evenwhile he was still a commoner, he persuaded Queen Victoria toelevate Mary Anne to the peerage. And so, in 1868, she was madeViscountess Beaconsfield.

No matter how silly or scatterbrained she might appear in public, henever criticized her; he never uttered a word of reproach; and ifanyone dared to ridicule her, he sprang to her defence with ferociousloyalty. Mary Anne wasn't perfect, yet for three decades she nevertired of talking" about her husband, praising him, admiring him.Result? "We have been married thirty years," Disraeli said, "and Ihave never been bored by her." (Yet some people thought becauseMary Anne didn't know history, she must be stupid!)

For his part, Disraeli never made it any secret that Mary Anne wasthe most important thing in his life. Result? "Thanks to his kindness,"Mary Anne used to tell their friends, "my life has been simply onelong scene of happiness." Between them, they had a little joke. "Youknow," Disraeli would say, "I only married you for your moneyanyhow." And Mary Anne, smiling, would reply, "Yes, but if you hadit to do over again, you'd marry me for love, wouldn't you?" And headmitted it was true. No, Mary Anne wasn't perfect. But Disraeli waswise enough to let her be herself.

As Henry James put it: "The first thing to learn in. intercourse withothers is noninterference with their own peculiar ways of beinghappy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violencewith ours."

That's important enough to repeat: "The first thing to learn inintercourse with others is noninterference with their own peculiarways of being happy ..."

Or, as Leland Foster Wood in his book, Growing Together in theFamily, has observed: "Success in marriage is much more than amatter of finding the right person; it is also a matter of being theright person."

So, if you want your home life to be happy,

Rule 2 is: Don't try to make your partner over.




















标签:人性 弱点 自在
2011-02-15 10:39 编辑:kuaileyingyu