One of the biggest fights my husband and I ever had was because he asked me to look at a map. You read that right. I was furious with him because he asked me to pull out a map and look at it.
We were lost trying to get to an out of town wedding and we really didn’t want to be late. Neither of us could figure out what we were doing wrong with our directions and our GPS wasn’t working. We were both flustered and frustrated when he asked me to pull out the map from the glove compartment. I became irate with him! I was irate because I thought he was kidding and this was no time for a joke. You see, I didn’t know how to read a map! I’d never had to do it. I thought he was joking around and was furious at him for not taking this seriously. Things escalated from there because he was bewildered at the fact that I truly did not know how to read a map.
You see, I assumed. I assumed he was joking when he was suggesting something sincere. He also assumed. He assumed I was capable of reading a map, which in hindsight was a reasonable thought. But he was sadly mistaken.
Though this is a lighthearted example, we are all guilty of much more complicated and hurtful assumptions.
Assumptions are a major communication breakdown. Often the assumptions we make about each other are harsh and untrue. We love to assume the best about ourselves and the worst about others. We judge others by their behavior and ourselves by our best intentions. Assuming things about your spouse will set you up for miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Here are 2 ways I think you can fix this communication breakdown in your marriage:
#1 Commit to clarity. Commit to asking questions. Ask questions instead of assuming the worst. Be curious instead of negative.
As the aged old saying goes “clarity is kindness.” Don’t sit in your murky and harsh assumptions instead grab the filter of curiosity and clear things up with your spouse. Ask questions like: “Why did you do that?” “Help me understand” “Here is what I hear you saying (insert what you think they are saying). Is that what you’re trying to say? I want to understand.”
#2 Be kind in your thoughts about your spouse. Commit to tearing down unfair assumptions in your mind about your spouse and instead choose to assume the best about your spouse. Assume good things from your spouse instead of the worst.
Remind yourself that your spouse is not your enemy. Tell yourself that your spouse loves you and wants good for you. Place these filters on your mind as you think about your spouse and their actions.
So what about you? How are negative assumptions affecting your marriage? How is it leading to miscommunication? What does it look like for you to commit to clarity as opposed to assuming in your marriage? What are the negative assumptions you make about your spouse on any given day and how can you shift your thinking?
Written By Christina Dodson, COO of Awesome Marriage
Re posted and used with permission from Awesome Marriage
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