I've been reading a lot about marriage lately, and it's got me pondering.
Truthfully, I've been reading a lot about problems in people's marriages, and it has me running the other direction and thinking about solutions in marriages.
I've been thinking about what works in my own marriage, and one of the big things, I think, is that my husband and I have a sort of standing policy of assuming the best of each other. This eases a lot of our misunderstandings.
My husband and I are exact opposites on the Myers-Briggs. This means that we complement each other beautifully, but we surely don't think about things the same way. We often reach the same conclusions, but we get there by vastly different paths. So when we're working our way through some problem, there's lots of room for misunderstanding.
But we've developed the habit of assuming the best of each other instead of jumping to the conclusion that what was said was meant to hurt. From my perspective, this means that when Adam says something that hurts me, I remind myself that I know he loves me, and I ask him if what I heard was what he meant.
It usually isn't. I'll find that he actually meant something good; his thought processes are just so different than mine; I need it explained.
It's taken me awhile to learn, this waiting to get angry instead of getting angry right away.
Or, sometimes, this arresting myself mid-fume, and reminding myself that what I heard probably wasn't what he meant.
But I like this part of our marriage. It feels courteous. It makes me feel like I can begin to understand St. Paul's comment that love is "slow to anger". Sometimes if you slow yourself down on the road to anger, you never get to anger at all, because you have time to see that there's nothing to be angry about.
That's my experience anyway. And it's a skill I'm trying to apply to my other relationships, but it's really something I think I learned in marriage. So, I'm wondering if it's a personality-specific thing, or if this is something other folks out there find themselves doing. Or, do you find yourself doing something similar, but you'd describe it differently?
I admit, this is really just about feeding my endless curiosity about human relationships. So don't feel obliged, but if you have something to say, I'd love to read it in the comments.
I'm finding that the older I get, the more fun it is to talk about what does work, as opposed to what doesn't. :)
Peace of Christ to you,