Most of the conflict I’ve had with my husband over the years stems from differences in the way we think, or the way we think about what each other is thinking!

Ultimately, we had to make a pact together, that we would assume that we each wanted to please the other. In order to believe that, we had to accept the notion that anything one did that didn’t please the other. . . must be a misunderstanding of the motives or needs of our partner.

Sounds simple . . and it really is, as long as I’m willing to try to see things from his perspective — and to believe that he’s a generally nice guy! Sometimes he just sees things differently than I do. He has a different perspective or point of view.

We’ve talked about perception, but what’s the difference between perception and perspective?

Perception is what we think or feel about something or someone based on our feelings, emotions, past experiences, — our thoughts and senses. Women are really good at this — it’s intuitive — and we have the advantage (or the handicap:-) in this arena. Someone new can walk into a room, and we can sum them up based on our perception of them — maybe before they even utter a word!

Perspective is not so much about feelings or thoughts or assumptions or past experience — it is simply the view from which we observe something.

To illustrate perspective, from the audience’ viewpoint the rabbit appears  to appear from inside the empty black hat, but it might look different from the wings! He could be a master illusionist, or a cheesy faker! The effect is colored by the perspective from which the trick is viewed.

Today’s marriage challenge: Today, if your husband does something that ticks you off, just consider that your perception might be distorted because your perspective is skewed. Perhaps he really isn’t sending you a message. Perhaps he has a different perspective. Try to see it from his point of view.

Maybe Tom is cranky because Joan has been distant and cold — or maybe his new shoes are too tight — or maybe he’s worried about losing his job or his health. You might be amazed at how your perception of your husband changes as you consider his perspective and point of view!

Some things to consider:

  1. What different perspective might Columbus have had that was different from the view of the Native Americans on the shore of the new world? How does the perspective of history change that same view from the shore and the ship?
  2. Using yesterday’s blog topic, is it possible that based on the different needs, desires, and expectations of husband and wife, that their perspectives can be very different — and one partner can be satisfied while the other is needy? Consider his perspective!
  3. Next time your husband is cranky — don’t ask why, just assume that it might be something totally unrelated to you — and then do your best to be the solution to whatever ails him!!!