A friend was telling me about a recent divorce.  His ex-wife has taken up with someone else, but since he has, too, maybe that's not such a big deal.  The worst of it is she lets the new man's dog in the house.  This, after years of denying her own husband's hunting dog entrance.

To me, this sounds like entrenchment.  Maybe a long time ago, the wife legitimately did not want the dog in the house, for whatever reason.  It was a big dog, or not quite house-trained, or too rambunctious, or she grew up in a home where they did not have animals in the house.  There are good reasons for not wanting a dog in the house.  And then later, she retained her position because she had made it.  She did not start all over asking herself whether the dog could come into the house, because she'd already answered the question.  She'd said no.  Why were they even still fighting about this?

Later, after her marriage was over, a new man asked if a new dog could come into the house.  She thought about the question of a dog in the house anew, and she came to a different conclusion than before.  She didn't see why not, and it turned out to not be a problem.  Maybe she thought back and realized that she could've let her ex's dog in the house, or maybe she didn't see what one had to do with the other.

I don't know any more about this story other than wife says no to husband's dog, later says yes to a new man's dog.  Maybe there's a lot more to it.  I've never met the ex-wife, the new man, or either of the dogs.  But I am familiar with entrenchment.  I know about holding on to a position when I should've revisited my decision instead.  I know about feeling incensed that the question is even still being asked.  I know about coming to a conclusion based on an initial gut reaction and then not changing it when I have more information or experience.  I know about having the same fight over and over, even if it isn't even the same fight anymore.  I know about thinking that I know what someone is going to say and therefore not listening.

I know about being my absolute worst self around the person I love the most.

I do not know an easy way to avoid entrenchment, other than to keep trying.  Keep talking and keep listening.

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