Lettuce and Your Marriage

The other day I came across a quote from Vietnamese, Zen, Buddist monk Thitch Nacht Hahn. The quote reads,

When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change

I don’t think me spending time expanding on any of that will add value to you. It’s easy to get the point he makes.

What I will offer you, though, is some direction in beginning to understand your spouse. This can apply to friends, other family members, and co-workers too – but start with your spouse.

Even though we’ve discussed both of these before, maybe you could use a refresher or maybe you haven’t come across them yet.


  1. Understand DISC profile. We have written a short introduction to DISC profile here. Take the time to determine your DISC profile. Take the time to learn your spouse’s DISC profile. Learn where they are compatible and where they aren’t compatible. Learn what makes your spouse most comfortable and least comfortable. Work on your ability to spend time in your spouse’s DISC profile.
  2. Read The 5 Love Languages. If you want a little background, we’ve written about “The 5 Love Languages” here. But we can’t encourage you enough to get a copy of the book and read it. It changed our marriage and it will change yours. Learning to tell your spouse you love them in the language they need to be told is unbelievably effective and unbelievably stress reducing.

As I mentioned, this may not be new information for you. If it’s not, read the quote again and ask yourself if you tend to blame the lettuce or if you tend to look for the reasons when things don’t go well. If you blame the lettuce even 1% of the time, there’s room for improvement. There’s a reason to keep the above in mind.


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