Have you ever read the book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus”? I never read it, but I’m assuming it talks about the differences between men and women. We are a lot more different than I ever imagined. Sure, we are both humans, and if you’re married, you probably both want love. But geez, do we have different ways of thinking, different ways of seeing things, and different ways of hearing things.
For example, when Terrance and I first moved in together, we hit a few financial snags along the way. During one point, money was a little tight, and we had to figure out how we were going to make sure all the bills got paid for the month. I was comfortable asking my parents to help us out until we had the means to pay them back. Terrance wanted to be more independent, and preferred that we research instant pay day loan lenders and make it work on our own. I thought my idea was logical; he thought his idea was logical. So who was right? Well in relationships, and especially marriages, it’s not always about who’s right. As the saying goes, “you can be right or you can be married”.
Last night, my best friend called me venting about her relationship. It was the same issue she’s called me about before. She felt like an action her boyfriend was doing was disrespectful and she was furious that he kept doing it. He thought it wasn’t a big deal and that it in no way affected their relationship. Who was right? Who did I side with? I told my best friend that I completely understood where she’s coming from, because I do. However, I also understand how her boyfriend feels like it does not affect their relationship, because in his mind it doesn’t. You know why? Because men and women are so different!
In the book “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, he talks about women having “pink sunglasses” and “pink hearing aids” and men having “blue sunglasses” and “blue hearing aids”. I thought this was so true and makes an excellent point. My husband and I can watch the same exact movie and hear the same exact dialogue. There is a great possibility that what I may perceive to be the plot could be completely different from what my husband perceives to be the plot. It doesn’t mean anyone’s wrong; we just have different ways of seeing/hearing things!
One of the biggest issues in relationships is understanding each other. Essentially, you’re bringing two people together who grew up differently, have different views, and have different opinions. A lot of us, however, have never really had to have our views challenged by someone and have it affect us so much. When arguing, I admit that if something doesn’t make sense to me I just automatically assume it just doesn’t make sense. That frustrates my husband to no end. In a way, when I say “that doesn’t make sense” to something he thinks or feels, I’m saying “your opinion is null and void” and that can be very hurtful.
What am I trying to say? I want everyone to think twice before blurting out “this is right” or “that’s wrong” to your spouse. True, it may not make sense to you, but that doesn’t mean it just flat out doesn’t make any sense. Take a step back from your emotions and really try to see things from your spouse’s sunglasses and hear things from your spouse’s hearing aid. Never say “that doesn’t make any sense” to something they think or feel. Be sympathetic. Be compassionate. Be open minded. Don’t try to force your differences; learn to embrace them!
clarification – when you say that doesnt make any sense add “to me” to it, that way you are allowing for the fact that it makes sense to the other person but not to you. after that try and figure it out and come to a happy medium.
Great post. I would add “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” We have been married for over 30 years and the real key for us is really, really listening to each other and respecting our different world views. Finally, putting your ego aside and the need to be Right is essential to a good marriage.