Welcome to Marriage Mondays! Each Monday, join me as I share my top findings on the little, eye-opening things about men, women, and relationships that make a big difference in creating great marriages.
Tip #44: Wives, if your husband ever seems inconsiderate, assume he doesn’t want to be
Ladies, have you ever had one of those moments when you were at the boiling point over something your husband did that seemed inconsiderate? Even when we love and respect our husbands, at times our emotions can get the best of us — especially when we get hurt or deeply disappointed by something he said or did. Or didn’t do!Even when we love & respect our husbands, at times our emotions can get the best of us. Click To Tweet
Perhaps he left his clothes on the floor again this morning, or his dirty dishes at the table, after you’ve asked him nicely to put them where they belong. Or, maybe you had gone to great lengths to plan a special night for the two of you since he had the day off and the kids were having a sleepover. You even planned a special “dessert” to spice things up, since you finally had some time to yourselves. But your plans went up in smoke when you found him asleep on the couch after a long day of laying that tile in the bathroom.
It’s easy for frustrated thoughts to flood our minds: “I can’t believe him! He’s going to lay there and sleep, and ignore everything I’ve done to get us some together time!” And believe me, I get it: after all your efforts to create a special evening, it’s no wonder you’re disappointed, hurt, and even mad. But it is so important to take control of those thoughts, so they don’t take control of you! If we are subconsciously assume and stew about, “He doesn’t care / he’s so insensitive!” very little good will come from that. Instead, force yourself to get a different perspective on the situation and your spouse.It is so important to take control of your thoughts, so they don’t take control of you! Click To Tweet
Whenever we are hurt by our spouse, it is essential (and helpful and beneficial) to look for the more generous explanation, and to act as if that is the real one – because it probably is. In my research, more than 99 percent of people deeply care about their spouses. Even in struggling marriages, they care. But even the best of us can sometimes be insensitive, or do things that hurt the other person without intending to!Whenever we are hurt by our spouse, it is essential to look for the more generous explanation. Click To Tweet
As I have studied the habits of the happiest marriages, it is clear that one reason they are, overall, so happy is that these spouses refuse to believe the worst of their mate’s intentions, even when they are hurt.
All of us can do that. Think how things would change if we altered our assumption to, “I know he loves me, so he probably had no clue how that was going to make me feel.” That grace-filled response will make everything different. And thankfully, this is not just wishful thinking!
Might it be, for example, that he wasn’t ignoring a “much-needed opportunity to be together?” Might it be that he wasn’t purposefully being a jerk and not caring about you? Could it be, instead, that the months of overtime at work and a full day of tiling the bathrooms simply took their toll, and he was just wiped out? Granted, he didn’t pick the best time to catch up on his nap time, but chances are he was looking forward to a night together as much as you were. If you look back over the day, choosing to believe the best of his intentions, then the day will look much differently.
I can assure you, if you take a moment to be generous in your thoughts toward your spouse and to see the good in him in the trying moments, it will be well worth it.
Helping people thrive in life and relationships is Shaunti Feldhahn’s driving passion, supported by her research projects and writing. After starting out with a Harvard graduate degree and experience on Wall Street, her life took an unexpected shift into relationship research. She now is a popular speaker around the world and the author of best-selling books about men, women, and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage)
Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, demonstrates that kindness is the answer to almost every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.