Achilles Heal

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The story goes like this in Greek mythology, when Achilles was an infant, it was foretold that he would perish at a young age. To prevent this from happening, his mother Thetis, took him to the River Styx which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability. She dipped his entire body in the sacred waters, but since she held him by the heel, it did not receive the powers. Apparently, Achilles grew up into a great warrior and survived many battles. However, finally it was when he took a poisoned arrow to his heel, that he succumbed. The story gained popularity to show that no matter how brave or unconquerable one is, they always have some weakness, which if found, can be used to defeat a warrior.

This has great significance in all relationships, but I am going to use the context of marriage to expand this. If you have been married for even a few months now, or long years, you already know that your partner has his or her own Achilles heel.

Humans that we are, we subconsciously keep picking at each other’s weaknesses. As we live with someone, we find out what makes them happy – what makes them sad – and we learn ways to find their Achilles heel.Unfortunately, most people use this Achilles heel in relationships to hurt rather than to protect or heal them. For instance, the husband knows, for the wife, her mother is her Achilles heel – by default in a fight he will bring her up and say something which affects the wife. He believes he will gain the upper hand, by hurting her where it matters most: her Achilles heel.


If the wife knows, the husband’s alumni means a lot to him she may use that against him in certain situations. Sentences like, “Oh, so is this what they taught you at xyz”. She knows other things may not affect him but a word against his precious institution and he will be done in.


Using of weaknesses is the most common thing corporates do and is the way many sportsmen win their medals. Not only do they work on their strengths, but they also use the other’s weaknesses against them to get where they must.


And yet, relationships are no competition to be won. It’s not about one upping, as much as it is about tangoing along together. Sometimes, we forget that in winning a point or feeling good for that moment, we end up losing something much more important: the love, trust or peace of the other.


What’s the point of winning something at the cost of losing something much more important. Yes, throwing an insult and knowing you caught the other off guard may win you that one argument but it’s not setting the right tone for your relationship in the longer run.


Instead, if you really want to build your marriage (or any relationship) and create a secure environment for one another, you need to know your partner’s Achilles heel and help them preserve it. Imagine knowing this is what will hurt them, and ensuring, you do nothing to cause it. In fact, even if the other is using your Achilles heel – if you hold onto your dignity and simply don’t give in, it leads to growing love, trust and respect in the marriage. In fact, there are high chances that seeing the way you are carrying yourself and preserving the others weakness, the other will want to do the same for you.

Achilles heel can be used to win. Let’s use it to win in love!

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