Well, I haven’t published a Marriage Mondays post since before E3 was born…and he’s two. It’s been a LONG time, but it feels great to contribute to this Marriage Series on my blog again because I think it’s so important, and because I love it! I actually got the idea for this post while watching the Bachelorette (we have been LONG TIME fans of this show but have really really not enjoyed this season!) because I was trying to figure out a part of why all the relationships are a mess, and realized the common denominator, and it’s something we have worked out pretty well in our marriage. It’s about communication, but it really is also just about love each other well. So here it is, my number ONE tip to good communication (loving each other well) in your marriage:
Make the choice to assume the best of your partner.
Michael and I are not perfect. But we communicate really well in general, and this one little sentence a huge part of that. Make the choice to assume the best of your partner.
Look, my friends. You didn’t choose to date or live with or marry them because you think they have it in for you and don’t really care about you (or good grief, I hope not). You chose them for a million reasons…but one of them was HOPEFULLY how they treat you. So here’s the thing. While I’m sure it isn’t ALWAYS accurate (because we are human and sometimes DO do things selfishly or say things that hurt the other person)…when someone is impatient, or snips, or says something less than ideal, or is sitting having down time on their phone while the other person is struggling with the kids…we make the choice to assume the best. That means I don’t jump to the conclusion that Michael was trying to hurt my feelings, or to insult me (which really never happens anyways!), and he doesn’t jump to the conclusion that I was just being lazy or rude. We choose to assume the best…
That the other person didn’t mean to hurt feelings.
That the other person didn’t realize the struggle.
That the other person didn’t think about how that comment would come off.
That the other person didn’t realize the needed help.
The list goes on and on. And you will notice, I didn’t JUST say “assume the best…”– I said “Make the choice to assume the best.”. That means it might not always be easy (or like I said, even exactly accurate!), but we make the choice anyways. So that tiny issues don’t get escalated. So that we don’t get our feelings hurt and harbor resentment. So that there is minimal drama!! And so that we are not expecting the other person to be a mind reader!
Sometimes, we still have to talk about something that happened or hurt feelings. I am ALL about speaking up when you need something or are upset about something so it can get solved and everyone can move on! But before we eve get there, I always do the check first: In assuming the best of Michael, I know that he loves me more than any other person does and has my best interests at heart, that he is all things good and kind and wouldn’t intentionally hurt me. And that means that probably, whatever I’m considering isn’t really something to turn into an issue at all.
Make the choice to assume the best of your partner. It’s a part of why you chose them in the first place, isn’t it??