Our Sunday school class was talking recently about perspective. Isn’t it amazing how your perspective and someone else’s can be SO different, even if you appear to be looking from the very same spot? It’s a little mind-blowing just how you can see something through a certain filter just because of your past, your mindset and your experiences.
Add that on top of how differently men and women can process the world around them and you have a recipe for confusion in marriage! We truly have different styles of communicating, of processing and of operating through daily life. At times the contrast can complement each other and we are better because of it, but this can also lead to a challenge because we see things so differently.
There have been many times where I’m trying to explain something to Brandon, only for him to turn it around backwards when he’s explaining it back. I get frustrated thinking he is not at all understanding what I’m trying to tell him, until, after going around and around in circles with each other, we finally figure out that we are actually saying the SAME thing, just in a completely different way! A friend of ours was over the other day and Brandon told him what he thought of something, and I piped in my view, and when I said it, it sounded like we disagreed. After going back and forth a couple of times, the friend said “You two are actually agreeing, you’re just explaining it in different ways.” This boggles my mind every time (and it happens a LOT), how at first it appears that we are at odds about something, yet actually turns out we are on the same page and just have an entirely different way of processing it.
I got to thinking… how much easier it would be to give up in those first few moments of not seeing eye to eye. But because we pushed through, we realized that we weren’t ever disagreeing at all.
This hit me hard.
What if too many of us simply give up too soon?
What if we both need or want the same things and have a different way of communicating it?
How tragic to allow something like communication fail us so greatly that we stop walking together because we think we are on opposite paths?
I think the biggest thing to remember about seeing things from a different perspective than your spouse is that for starters: this doesn’t have to mean that one of you is wrong! People have their own viewpoint because of their life experiences, their upbringing, and their personality. There have been thousands of circumstances throughout their life that have affected them and essentially, taught them how they will react in a certain situation. And the same with you. So it’s important to remember that different doesn’t necessarily mean wrong. (Unless of course we are talking about loading the dishwasher because my way is totally the only right way.)
When we operate out of love and humility, we can actually learn from the other person’s viewpoint and grow as a person. Being slow to speak and taking just a moment to try standing in the other person’s shoes can literally save you from heartache. It increases our ability to see from different angles and be more understanding. So, today look for ways that you and your spouse see the world differently in the small things, and maybe even give them grace when they do things differently from you. Even loading the dishwasher 🙂