Couples need to make a million decisions every day. Most decisions can be made fairly easily, but some decisions require more thought and reflection, especially when husbands and wives don’t see eye-to-eye. In those times, it can be easy to try to push through the disagreement, to force a conclusion before you really understand where each other is coming from. But decisions made this way rarely work. When one spouse feels shut down, it tends to cultivate resentment at best or causes that spouse to undermine the solution at worst, creating a spirit of mutual hostility and distrust.
Today, cultivate a spirit of understanding. Go out of your way to communicate that your spouse is more important than your agenda. Before you push your plan or try to press for a decision, take the time to ask questions that help you really understand where your spouse is coming from. Don’t criticize what they say. Don’t try to talk them out of it. Ask questions to help you truly understand what your mate wants and why. Then, and only then, can you ask your mate to help you think of ways you could address their concerns while considering yours as well. Chances are, your generosity and commitment to understanding will be rewarded in kind.
Here’s a great reflection by theologian, Romano Guardini, on the virtue of understanding
——For the next 40 days, M2L will offer a tip-a-day for improving your marriage. For more help creating an exceptional marriage, contact the Pastoral Solutions Institute to learn more about Catholic tele-counseling services. 740-266-6461. And Check out more great marriage-building ideas in For Better…FOREVER! A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage.