Skip to main content

The Benefit of the Doubt

Courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels

The image of a pebble dropped into a still pond is a powerful one for many people. It is a visual representation of the idea that one small act can have a “ripple effect.” It can spread out and be carried across the water of our life and the lives of those around us further than we may perceive. Giving the benefit of the doubt can be that pebble in your relationship with your spouse.

Nick: A time I gave Jen the benefit of the doubt recently was when we were chatting with another couple.  I paused in the middle of an idea for a moment, trying to find the right way to lay out the end of it, and Jen jumped in and took the conversation a completely different direction.  My first reaction was to feel irritated and assume that she did it because she thought what I was saying was unimportant or even boring her and our guests.  But that assumption wasn’t fair to Jen.  I took a moment to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Almost immediately I could see how, from her perspective, it may easily have seemed I’d gone as far with the idea as I was going to, so it was perfectly fine to take the conversation another way.

Jen: A time I gave Nick the benefit of the doubt recently was when he was telling me about a change that’s being made to a singing group we belong to. I disagree with the change and don’t want to see it happen. My first reaction was to assume that Nick was sharing the information as a matter of fact. I started to respond in anger, but then remembered that Nick often talks through things he’s thinking about in order to figure out what needs to be done. I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he was open to hearing my perspective and was not just giving me an ultimatum. This calmed me down and allowed me to share my thoughts and feelings without directing any anger at Nick. By shifting my focus in this way, I was able to listen better to what he was saying.

Whether giving the benefit of the doubt is done inwardly or outwardly, it can be a powerful tool in relating to your spouse. Just the simple act of assuming that he/she does not have bad intent and values your marriage as much as you do can go a long way in opening you up to a better conversation about it. The ripples this pebble creates can carry into conversations and interactions and facilitate smoother waters ahead.

Courtesy of Git Stephan Gitau via Pexels


Other Popular Posts

Sex: Spontaneous or Planned . . . Let the Conversation Begin

  Happy New Year to all!  We are so grateful that 2020 is clearly in our rear-view mirror.  What a relief.  The start of a new year is traditionally set aside for reflection and resolutions.  For us, 2021 was no different. We often make couple as well as individual resolutions.  Stress and busyness, age and life in general had cooled our sexual relationship to a slow simmer.  Our 2021 goal is :  " Some is good.  More is better! "  Planned or spontaneous -- all is good! Let the conversation begin.

Tell Her She’s Pretty and Let Him Go Golfing

     Kids say the funniest things. But sometimes, the things they say can teach us a thing or two. Our friends Greg and Cecilia have five children between 1 and 11 years old. They asked their four oldest kids to answer some questions about marriage. Here's what they had to say: Why do people get Married? Because they love each other.  Because they kiss each other. How do you know Mom and Dad love each other?

Verbal Judo – Harmonizing Your Tone of Voice

Some time ago, we wrote about the importance of being aware of the Tone of Voice we use with our spouse. The gist of the post was that our Tone of Voice is the key culprit that begins most disagreements, hurts, and fights between spouses. We want to revisit this important topic and provide some additional helpful hints we’ve learned along the way.

8 Misunderstandings That Are Hurting Your Sex Life

Why are we writing about sex again?  Sex in marriage is more important than most people think.  It's mysterious. There are a lot of "layers" and complexities to this whole topic.... read on... 

Looking Forward with Hope and Promise to 2021

2020 will soon be in our rear-view mirror . . .  We look forward with hope and promise to 2021.     W e at The Couples Post   have shared in a practical way how we are so much stronger together as a couple.  May that strength help us navigate 2021 and beyond. 

The Elf on the Shelf

It’s that time of year – you know, when our kids are all on their best behavior and the most frequent threat you hear parents utter is “Santa is watching!” The latest craze is the Elf on the Shelf. The elf moves around your home, keeping its eye on your kids and causing a little mayhem along the way. Maybe your elf plays a game with a few of the stuffed animals in the house. Perhaps it gets into your cookie jar. Maybe it even spills flour in your kitchen. No matter what, the kids know it’s watching them. So, what if the elf was watching you and your spouse? Would he tell Santa to bring you a present or put a lump of coal in your stocking?

Great Sex!

Photo by  ijeab  /  Freepik     Sex between a married couple is not only good, it’s very good. If you read the research and surveys, you will find that married couples experience better and more frequent sex than non-married couples. Married couples are healthier, happier, and live longer. When we went on a WorldWide Marriage Encounter weekend, we were more than a little surprised when a priest told us that our love-making is good, is important for us, and is important to the world. He encouraged us to “make mad passionate love!”     So, why has married sex become something else? Society and media portray sex for married couples as dull and lifeless, a tool used to manipulate, something to joke about, and something that - beyond the newlywed phase- gradually drifts away. We’ve been sold this bill of goods, and we often buy into it! What we really crave in our sex life is to give and receive something powerful- to experience the depths of our passion and love for each other, t

10 Things Women Want

1)  Learn her “Love Language :"   And speak it often! (Learn more:  What Language Are You Speaking? ) Janine’s love language is “Acts of Service.” So, when I vacuum or do dishes or cook, it fills up her ‘love tank' - her mood brightens and there’s a whole different vibe between us.   I can tell I’ve found a direct path to her heart.  

I Married YOU, Not Your Family

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels Growing up and getting married means that we leave our family of origin and start a new family.  We’re not asked to forget about mom and dad, but we do need to remember that our spousal relationship is important to take care of because it becomes the solid ground where we plant our new roots.

Marriage is a VERB

Marriage is not a noun; it's a verb.  It isn't something you get.  It's something you do.  It's the way you love your partner every day."