“What’s wrong”, says your spouse. “They should know what’s wrong”, you think to yourself. It’s so obvious! “You just don’t understand me”, you respond.
How many times have you had this argument? Why doesn’t your spouse understand you better? Well maybe because they aren’t a mind reader. Sure it’s obvious to you but it may not be to them and that’s okay. Maybe they really haven’t been paying attention and that can be frustrating. At the same time though, we normally end up with someone very different than ourselves and in that case their mind doesn’t work like yours.
Instead of expecting your spouse to read your mind, let them in and share your thoughts and feelings. The more you do this the better they will understand you but they will never 100% “get you.” You will still be different people and will still need help from time to time with understanding each other.
Someone trying to randomly guess your feelings and what you are thinking won’t really help you feel loved. Someone listening, asking questions, and wanting to know you better is a show of love and caring about you.
Your spouse may quit asking you questions and trying if every time they do they are met with anger. That’s when there is an actual problem.
Psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps says this is something frequently seen in couples therapy.
“Linda pours her heart out to her husband, Brett, about feeling totally frustrated with a family situation. All she wants is for him to listen, and maybe to give her a hug. Brett, not wanting his wife to be so upset, explains exactly how she can fix the problem. Feeling judged rather than loved, she withdraws. She believes that he knows she needs to be comforted. He feels her giving him the cold shoulder, so he pulls back, too. Both are hurt and angry – feelings that eventually explode out of them in future conversations.”- read more
My husband is the type that when he hears a problem he wants to fix it. This is a great thing! However, often I just want to vent to him and like Linda in the story before maybe get a hug. It’s very easy to expect my husband to just know this is what I want. I try to remember to tell him before I start talking to him about the problem that I just want him to listen, I don’t need him to fix it. And guess what? He doesn’t just ignore that request, he does what I ask him to and what I need.
Simply remembering your spouse can’t read your mind can make a bit difference in how you communicate. Remember love isn’t being a mind reader, it’s about caring about each other.
Are you guilty of this? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Need some ideas to help you reconnect with your spouse? Check out these 15 at-home date night ideas.
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