Give Your Spouse the Benefit of the Doubt?

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The guiding idea behind Assume Love has been described as “give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.” Close, but it would be much more accurate to say “give yourself the benefit of the doubt.”
I’m not here to turn you into a better spouse. I am here to help you enjoy being married. The benefit I care about is your satisfaction with your marriage and your life.
I don’t think either of those will be improved by putting up with anything unpleasant or frightening, so when you Assume Love, be sure you actively check for evidence you are still loved, respected, cherished, and safe and that what initially upset you is a temporary or limited misunderstanding or the result of a simple disagreement you can resolve with a Third Alternative.
This is when you get the benefit of doubting your initial explanation of what happened between you.

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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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  • Ah, the master is back at it explaining the most subtle and counter-intuitive parts of your message. when I first began reading your posts, I too thought it was more like the former. This is a great reminder to own your own needs, Patty. Hope you are well!

  • Uplifting post Patty. Funny how things change when we focus on the goodness of the other rather than our human perception of how or what we feel when they are intimate with us in the human fashion. I’m grateful for they and you.

  • What if you can find the evidence that your spouse loves you by what he has said, but the way he says it is delivered in a frightening way, such as by yelling, cursing, and slamming doors? How do you handle that behavior?

  • It is true that many marriages get destroyed with even the most basic things that couple are supposed to be doing. I understand all about giving someone the benefit of the doubt but it’s not very common to give ourselves the same. Thanks for explaining.

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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