“We are a castle of playing cards. Someone shakes the table and everything collapses. It does not need a storm, just the slightest puff and we are gone.

Put up the interest rate. Just a few points. Gone. That which was steadily balanced falls to pieces.

I’m not a magician. How could I tell they were going up? My whole business. All that I have worked for threatened.”

He is clearly under stress, and the threat to his business is his major problem. In his mind, the only problem. But it so happens that his wife’s father was a successful businessman. She is given to comparing her husband to her father. In fact, her urging him to greater success had provoked him into taking unwise risks. His reaction is, ‘What will she say? What will she think?’ This is the associated problem resulting directly from the major one. If someone could lead her into supporting him instead of criticizing him, he may well be able to cope with the major problem without stress.

And how does she give this support that will allow his mind to run free? No advice. No working it out logically with him. And certainly not, ‘My father would do it this way.’ Reassurance is little help. The real help comes by the wordless expression of support. If she curls up closely in bed that night, nothing need be said.


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