I was reminded of this again last night while sitting on the couch watching Sherlock. At one point, I let out a big sigh and Jaime asked, “What’s wrong.” I answered with, “The same thing that was wrong when you asked me earlier!” Foolish right? You see, in that split second when my wife asked that question, I immediately assumed that I was being judged and criticized, because in a moment of tension that’s what I would have done. It turns out that she was just concerned about me, and wanted to make sure that I was okay.
In the book Love and Respect, author Emmerson Eggerichs encourages couples to practice ‘goodwill’ with one another. That is simply instead of starting with any other assumption about the actions or motives of your spouse, assume that they want what is best for you. I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to say “I’m sorry,” to my wife because I attributed motives to her actions or words that just didn’t exist.
So, instead of making the leap to thinking the worst about your spouse, why not make the leap to think the best?
Big Question: What can you do to extend even more ‘goodwill’ to your spouse?