Merry Christmas

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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and hoping you’ll remember to Assume Love when your husband or wife fails to

  • Join you for caroling (some folks don’t enjoying singing for others)
  • Carve the turkey correctly (unless he’s CEO of Butterball)
  • Try your bread pudding (she really could be full)
  • Give you any presents (Gary Chapman says there are four other Love Languages)
  • Keep your mother entertained while you and your dad visit (need I explain?)
  • Vacuum, dust, or replace the nearly empty roll of toilet paper
  • Stay cheery
  • Get serious
  • Read your mind


Just to remind you (or introduce you, if this is your first time here), here’s what it means to Assume Love. Try this every time your spouse does something or fails to do something and you feel anger, resentment, hurt, fear, shame, frustration, or superiority taking hold of your emotions:

  1. Assume you are completely loved by a wonderful person. Don’t pretend it’s true and disregard your own feelings. Just assume it for the moment.
  2. Attempt to explain how a wonderful person who loves you completely might come to do what just happened. Is it exhaustion? Different meanings attached to the same actions? Distraction by something important? Lack of information about what you want? Anger over an unrelated event? Something else?
  3. If you can think of one or more explanations that could apply to your real life situation, too, decide whether you choose to react to the original negative explanation or to one of these positive possibilities.
  4. If you choose one of the positive ones, check whether it teaches you something new about how your spouse loves you, so that you can be more loving or avoid another negative reaction in the future.

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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By Patty Newbold

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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