As I sat at our candlelit table thinking about the love and work and tears and laughter that go into marriage, my mind drifted back to the very best piece of marriage advice I read last year.
It was something so simple that it seemed ridiculous I had to even be told it. But I did.
A surprisingly obvious “secret” to a blissful marriage
“Always assume the best of your spouse.”
Of course, right? That’s what I thought when I read it in Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. “Assuming the best” seems way too obvious to be dubbed a surprising secret. But the more I thought about it in real life, the more I began to see how much I struggled with it.
Most husbands and wives in healthy relationships don’t purposefully hurt or offend each other. But just like in any close relationship, it’s easy for miscommunications and hurt feelings crop up anyway.
Joshua loves me faithfully. He demonstrates it in a thousand ways. Still, sometimes it is easy to assume the worst.
It’s already 7:00 and Joshua still isn’t home yet. I thought he was supposed to be home early today. It is Friday night after all. He could at least have let me know! Clearly he’s just putting other things before the kids and me.
Just like I want him to assume the best of me when a ten minute errand turns into an hour or when I drop off every single wearable suit at the dry cleaners and forget to pick them up before he has to fly out of town for business (true story– oh my!), I should think the best of him too:
Poor guy! Something must have come up at the last minute. He’s probably extra stressed and eager to be home.
Instead of bundling up hurt feelings, when I choose to assume the best, my attitude toward him is one of love. The kind of love that “believes all things and hopes all things.” If the reason for the misunderstanding isn’t abundantly clear, I can ask about it without tears or anger magnifying the problem.
Guys and girls think differently. Process things differently. Communicate differently. This can cause all sorts of miscommunication. Or it can be a beautiful way to demonstrate God’s love by assuming the best. The beautiful thing is that 99% of the time, when I assume the best, my assumption is actually right.
Always assume the best of your spouse
I still make plenty of bad assumptions, but whenever I follow this advice and choose to assume the best, I am much happier, my marriage is much happier, and our home is much happier.
(As the author stressed, this advice is only for healthy relationships, where both husband and wife treat each other with love and honor. Marriages with abuse or unfaithfulness need strong outside help to protect the innocent.)