When It Helps to Assume Love
Assume Love is shorthand for a little technique that can turn your distressing marriage into a great one. Try it whenever you find yourself wondering if your mate could possibly still love you or be worthy of your love. All you do is ask yourself, "if this person still loves me completely and still possesses his or her best qualities, and I had no doubt of this, how might I explain what he or she just did?"
Doing this little thought experiment frees you from the intense focus on threats and problems that your distress forces on you. It lets you recall relevant information and connect one bit of information to another. It lets you see love you might otherwise overlook.
Some good times to Assume Love:
- When your partner says no to your plans [because it is likely you already know enough to understand why and realize you are not being thwarted, that you just need a different way to get what you want]
- When you discover your husband of a decade or more is suddenly into porn [because you might then connect the onset with something like a vasectomy or a disappointing performance in bed with you]
- When your wife starts going out with friends after work [because you might recognize how it's improving your relationship or helping improve her sales or turning her into a better mother instead of seeing it as a rejection of you]
- When your usually quiet and calm husband raises his voice [because it just might be a last-ditch effort to draw your attention to an urgent problem]
- When your mate refuses to do without an expensive, name-brand product [because it taps into some very important memory or helps relieve some deep pain]
- When your wife refuses to take a job offer, even though you two really need the money [because she knows she cannot do the job in a way that will keep the job or lead to a good reference when she must move on]
- When your spouse does something with the kids that scares or disgusts you [because he or she is protecting them from a threat you have never faced but your spouse has]
- When your husband demands to drive the two of you home while drunk [because the only loving explanation for this is that he intends to protect you but has lost the ability to turn down a drink that interferes with his good intentions, in which case you'll need to protect him and yourself from his addiction until he find the strength to deal with it]
- When your spouse beats you up or empties your bank account to punish you, rather than as a result of addiction or mental illness [because you will find no explanation for a decent, loving person doing the sort of thing he or she would protect a loved one from if anyone else tried it, and you will know you are not loved by or safe with this person any longer]