If you’ve read my blog, you know I caution spouses about trying to read each other’s mind.
But then my wife took me away for a few days on a surprise trip to North Carolina. (That’s right! She made the plans, told me what to pack, and then said, “Drive.” It was wonderful! I owe her big time.) Any way, back to the story…
I came across this sign in a shop in Hendersonville, NC…
It stopped me in my tracks. I liked it so much my sweet wife bought it for me. (Or maybe she was trying to tell me something.)
There was something that felt right about this sign, but now I was confused. I’m always telling people, “Your spouse can’t read your mind.” But now I have this sign that seems to say just the opposite. Which is correct? If you can’t read your spouse’s mind, how can you understand what they’re not saying? (Confused yet? Me too.)
Perhaps you can understand what your spouse is not saying, without acting like you do. Maybe being truly married means you know your spouse so well you know what your spouse is not saying…but you never assume you know them that well.
After all, if you’ve been married for a while and you don’t know your spouse well enough to anticipate their thinking, you’re oblivious. And if you think you’ve been married long enough you don’t have to ask them what they’re thinking, you’re arrogant. Either way, you lose.
How do you get to this place where you know your spouse so well you understand what they’re not saying? How long does it take to hit this stage of being “truly married?” It’s something that develops at different times for different marriages, but I can give you 3 keys that will help…
- Age – I’m not talking about your age, or the age of your spouse. I’m talking about the age of your marriage. The longer you’ve been married, the easier it is to understand what your spouse is not saying.
- Attention – Only 30% of what we communicate comes through our words. The other 70% comes through things like tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. If you really want to understand what your spouse is not saying, you have to pay attention to more than what they’re saying.
- Asking – No matter how good you get at “reading” your spouse, the only sure way to know what’s going on is to ask. As we get older, we grow. We change. We go through different seasons and stages. You can’t assume that what you knew about your spouse last month is the same this month. Again, you may know your spouse so well you know what they’re thinking, but you should never assume you do. Ask!
So how are you doing in your marriage? When it comes to your spouse, do you understand what they’re not saying without being so confident that you don’t ask? If not, don’t be hard on yourself. Let you marriage age. Give you’re spouse your attention. Ask your spouse questions…even when you think you know the answers.
The more you do, the more you’ll understand what your spouse is not saying. (They may even buy you a sign.)
Can you think of some other signs of being “truly married?” If so, list them in the comments section.
Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg