London: Our first date almost didn’t result in a second date. When Adam opened the door, Allison couldn’t figure out why he was dressed like a teenager on his way to the gym. Then she found out he did magic tricks. Strike two. In any relationship, there are deal-breakers. Smoking. He was doing Crossfit. Chewing too loudly.
But what about the things that are tolerable but still in serious need of improvement? There are times when you know what’s best for your partner. That requires you to master the art of persuasion. And some of the same techniques you use at work to win friends and influence people can come in handy at home too.
Psychological Tricks of A Wife for Her Husband ( Story )
Allison managed to see past the wardrobe dysfunction and accept a second date. Soon she was hinting that Adam should throw out all his ratty conference t-shirts (why had no one told him this sooner?!?). He refused. So then she asked if he would please get rid of just one: the worst one. He agreed.
Psychologists call that the door-in-the-face: you make a big ask, it gets denied, and then you follow up with a more minor request. Adam felt guilty saying no twice in a row, and ditching one shirt seemed like a remarkably reasonable thing, compared to a whole closet full of them. And that yes became a foot in the door. Once Adam had agreed to dump one shirt, he felt silly holding onto a few others. Pretty soon he was running low on shirts. And then she was in.
Allison started buying new (better) shirts. After a couple of years, Adam’s entire wardrobe had been completely replaced. It was like the ship of Theseus, where you replace one plank at a time until you’ve swapped out every one of the original pieces. Is it the same ship? Adam definitely wasn’t the same shlub.
As Adam began to travel more for work (now in a matching ensemble), he started to realize that Allison needed a little away time of her own. No matter how much you love your spouse, spending time with friends contributes to happiness, and Adam encouraged her to go on a trip with friends.
But Allison is a bit of a homebody and would consistently decline traveling without family. So Adam started making offhand comments about how a friend of ours goes away one weekend every month. Ten years later, Allison went on a two-day trip with two friends. via redbookmag