Quickly Boost the Happiness in Your Marriage
Today we wrap up the second week of this 21-day series and I can’t think of a better way to end it than focusing on the relationship with our spouse. When we began this series, I mentioned there are only 3 things that impact our overall happiness for better or for worse.
The first is the relationship with ourselves; how we view and treat ourselves. The second is our relationship with others; how we view, interact and treat those around us. This week, we’ve focused on building better relationships with our family, in-laws, community, those you find difficult to love, and our co-workers. And today, we’re talking about building up a better relationship with your spouse.
Such a topic is difficult to do in one blog post, and in less than 500 words, so I will share with you the one thing I believe most couples -even those with great marriages- can benefit from doing more. It’s something I learned from my husband when a married couple inquired with him about our communication styles. They wanted to know why (and how) we seemed to communicate so well. His response was an ‘aha’ moment, “I always presume innocence in all situations.”
“Meaning, I presume that we both want to understand each other,” he continued, “and I know that we both love each other madly—not for just a season, but for our lifetimes. With that perspective I can approach whatever situation with as much gentleness as possible. Which allows us to ease into conversations rather than crashing into arguments.”
For so many, arguments don’t stem from a lack of communication, but rather they arise from an absence of patience and a failure to presume innocence. Not one of us is such a great communicator that we will never be misunderstood. Interpretation contributes just as much to understanding as listening does. That is why presuming innocence and being patient in conversation with your spouse is so important.
Happiness in a relationship does not mean you are without arguments. But fewer arguments and greater understanding can certainly lead to an increase in happiness in your marriage. Benjamin Disraeli, the former British Prime Minister wrote in a letter to Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter on the announcement of her engagement, “”There is no greater risk than marriage. But there is nothing happier than a happy marriage.“
One of the best ways to boost the happiness in your marriage is to decrease the misunderstandings. And I believe, after having interviewed couples from around the world on the secrets to their happy marriage, one the best ways to decrease the misunderstandings is to slow down the conversation (apply patience) and presume innocence.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
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