Do you sometimes wonder if you and your partner are even speaking the same language? Do you wonder what’s going on with him/her? Are you angry at them all the time but when you try to talk you just fight? Do you feel sometimes as if your partner is just a jerk?
Here’s Dr. Dana’s advice to improve your communication. It’s Important to Give Your Partner the Benefit of the Doubt.
The first practical tip to help you use patience and humor in communication is to give your partner the “Benefit of the Doubt.” Believe it or not, most pain inflicted in a relationship is accidental. Chances are, you’re not married to a jerk. Giving someone the “Benefit of the Doubt” means, given all evidence to the contrary, you first assume that they did not mean to hurt you on purpose. This makes forgiveness far easier to offer because there’s a lot less to forgive when you realize the behavior was accidental. If your wife snaps at you when she walks in the door at night, you first assume that she had a really bad day at work. If your husband didn’t clean up the back yard after he said he would, you first assume that other important tasks came up and his intention was never to purposefully ignore your request. Giving your partner the “Benefit of the Doubt” allows you to avoid becoming immediately angry, and therefore, to potentially access your patience and humor – doing this can dramatically decrease the number of times a mere misunderstanding turns into full-scale conflict.
To get more of Dr. Dana’s advice, use our online videos and downloadable exercises, check out our StrongMarriageNow System.
Have you given your partner the “Benefit of the Doubt” in your relationship before? Did it help? Please comment below.
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com
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