Understanding Your Spouse or Significant Other

What would happen in your marriage if you understood your partner?

Being understood is one of the primary longings we have in marriage.  We wish our partner would understand what we think and why, how we feel, and what our hopes and dreams are.  But sometimes in the process of living a busy life together we end up functioning well as a couple (paying the bills, getting groceries, running the errands) but not feeling understood in the most important areas of our personal lives.

What is understanding, anyway?  This is one of those subjective things that many people only qualify when they feel it.  “He gets me,” “she understands me,” “he knows me so well,” “she’s got me tagged.”  You know when you feel understood by someone and when you don’t it can feel like something is missing.

Here are 3 Keys to better understanding:

  1. What is the core point your partner is trying to get across?  Understanding is not agreeing.  You can understand your partner’s position or conviction about something and still freely have a different perspective.  But what is their perspective?  If you restated their perspective would they say you got it?  But understanding goes farther – it is understanding why they have the position in the first place.  This is where your spouse feels like you not only understand them but that you have their back.  Understanding your partner is the starting point to being the strongest advocate.  And having an advocate feels good.
  2. What is important to them might not be important to you.   But that shouldn’t matter.  Partnership means just that – two interests together into a combined unity.  Unity does not remove individual insights and interests.  It provides a safe place for them to grow.  When you understand what is important to your partner and that begins to figure in your decision-making in the family you will gain more cooperation and compatibility from them than you could ever imagine.  They begin to feel like you have their interests in mind because you do.
  3. Making them feel important.  When we understand our partner’s core perspective on things and value what is important to them they feel like they are important to you.  This is so critical because a chief complaint among conflicting couples is that they no longer feel like they are a priority to their spouse.  And trying to buy flowers on top of the other person not feeling important will get you nowhere.

We have incredible opportunities every day to understand our partner, value their perspective, and make them feel important.  What will you do to show you understand them today?

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