Last Week: In case you missed it, The Snooze Button was posted at Make Mine Happen.
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Changing the Light Bulb: Viewing Your Relationship in New Light
Dr. Phil McGraw always says, “No matter how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides.” Whatever you think about the rest of his advice, the truth behind those words is important to remember in any relationship, especially your marriage.
Seeing things from your spouse’s perspective – even when you know you’re right – is one of the quickest and most direct routes to finding common ground. Just like your home looks different in different lights – be it the glow of dawn, the glare of the bright afternoon sun or the flicker f overhead lights in the evening – your perspectives on any issue are affected by your life experiences, beliefs and emotions.
Sometimes these things get in the way and cloud your view, giving you a distorted perspective; sometimes neither person’s perspective is right or wrong. But taking the time to see someone else’s perspective shows respect for their viewpoint and breaks down defenses that can get in the way of finding a resolution.
All of that is easier to accept in theory than it is to put into practice, though. It’s a lot harder to actually step back and see someone else’s perspective while emotions are running high and passions are ignited.
To start, take the emotion out of it. It may mean shelving a conversation until everyone has had a chance to calm down and regroup, and that’s okay.
When you’ve calmed down, find a quiet place and think through your spouse’s perspective. You could take this even farther and actually try to argue their side, which will give you an intimate look into their viewpoint.
The next time the conversation comes up, start from common ground, and share where your perspectives align before you explain where they still differ.
Seeing things from each other’s perspective is not a guarantee that you’ll agree. In fact, chances are pretty good that you’ll still have areas where you continue to disagree even after you understand your spouse’s perspective. But it does provide a foundation for growing in your relationship as you work through disagreements together rather than building a wall as you each fight to defend your own position.
Next Week: Don’t forget to check out Pillow Talk: Romance Through Words next week on Engaged Marriage!
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