Friday, February 6, 2009
Philosphy Friday - What Did Your Spouse Mean?
We believe it is important to not assume that you understand what your spouse is thinking. You have spent a lot of intimate time with your wife or husband. It is really easy to make assumptions that you already know why your spouse did or said something. However, life is never so simple as we try to make it in our minds. It is important to take the time to check in and make sure your perception of a situation is correct. The following cartoon helps illustrate this point.
In this comic strip we see a woman trying to help Bernie. But what exactly is she trying to help him do? Is she trying to help him to get eaten by the shark? Straightening out his leg will put his leg closer to the shark's mouth. Those that tend to ascribe the evil motivations to others will likely assume that she really wants to see Bernie get hurt and possibly killed in this situation. Then again this woman may genuinely be trying to help Bernie swim quicker to shore. She may have absolutely no comprehension that by straightening his legs, Bernie is in greater danger. In fact just the opposite, she may think that she is really helping him get safely back to shore.
So what assumptions have you been making with your spouse? Is it possible that some of the problems that you are experiencing in your marriage are based on false assumptions? Maybe not, but if there is any doubt, take the time to check in with your spouse. Ask them. Make sure you understand their perspective and be willing to admit to yourself that you might be wrong. Your marriage may benefit greatly from being willing to do this regularly.