Ever notice how quick people are to jump to conclusions when we feel mistreated by our spouse? We begin to create these made up scenarios on why he or she intentionally hurt or disappointed us. Not very often do we take a look at challenging situations from our partner’s point of view. We miss so much, like an opportunity to move forward and create a solution, when we get stuck in that place of thinking we have the only perspective that matters.
Taking “self” out of the equation is how most healthy marriages survive. Of course it isn’t as easy as it sounds, because as humans we want our needs catered to first. Marriage is about sacrifice and making the other partner a priority. We make them a priority by having a clear understanding of their needs, be willing to meet those needs, and thinking through situations with our spouse’s thoughts and feelings in mind.
Here are the two areas where looking at marriage from your spouse’s perspective will benefit your relationship most.
The way you communicate affects your spouse and marriage more than you know. It will either create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing, or one where they shut down and aren’t able to be vulnerable. Be careful with the type of space you’ve created in your marriage. Prior to communicating or especially when having difficult conversations, think about how your spouse will receive the information.
If you are disrespectful or loud in your mode of communication, the impact it will have on your partner could easily damage any future discussions. Consider how your mate needs to receive information. Does it have to be delivered gently, lovingly, softly in nature, or slowly and clearly? Once you examine the communication from your spouse’s vantage point, and not your own, be ready to experience a shift. It is a must you consistently communicate in that way, even when it feels uncomfortable to you.
The intimacy in your marriage can also be enhanced by placing your needs on the back burner and thinking about the ways your partner needs to be stimulated. Paying attention to your spouse will definitely give you information on what turns him or her on. Think about lovemaking from their point of view. It may seem a little strange at first, but knowing where your spouse wants to be kissed most, or which areas of their body is the most sensitive to your touch, is crucial to creating some healthy levels of intimacy in your marriage. If you aren’t quite sure, it’s okay, just ask.
Creating a marriage where both partners make the other a priority should be the ultimate goal for all couples. There are always two points of view in every relationship. So there won’t ever be just one way to improve or heal a marriage. When we slow down with our conclusion jumping and remove our selfish desires, replacing them with our mate’s, our marriage will overcome many of the challenges we face. If we remember our partner has needs too, or maybe it was us that caused the confusion in the relationship, it will become easier to create solutions and move forward. If you struggle with this idea, just close your eyes, think about your spouse, the situation, and what they might be feeling at this moment. Allow that thinking to guide your actions. Believe me, it is the beginning of a powerful relationship.
BMWK, when was the last time you looked at your marriage from your spouse’s perspective and what did you learn?