I had an interesting revelation recently, thanks to some of you. Via the comments and some e-mails, I talked with several women who said something to the effect of, “My husband is doing or saying XYZ and I am upset he thinks ABC.” What I saw was motive being assigned to the husband based on what the wife thought they were thinking.
Being male, I had a different perspective on the situations. I could easily think of several other logical male motives for each scenario. In several of the situations, what the wife thought did not seem at all likely to me. Some of the thoughts suggested by the wives seemed possible, but none of them seemed the most likely possibility. I suggested to each woman her husband might not be thinking what she thought. I also gave each woman several other things he could be thinking, and suggested she talk to him.
Based on feedback, my guesses of what the men were actually thinking weren’t great, but I don’t think it matters. By giving each wife another logical reason for what her husband did, I helped her out of her own head. With other possible motives and thoughts she felt better about getting the facts from her guy.
It’s human nature to assume others think as we do. We paint our motives on other people’s actions. In general this is a bad plan, and it turns out even worse when we do it to members of the other gender. It’s also human nature to assume the worst. While it’s possible the truth is worse than what we imagine, it’s rather rare.
No matter how well you know your husband, you can’t read his mind. Don’t react to what you think he’s thinking, find out what’s actually going on in his mind.
~ Paul – I’m XY and I gave up mind reading years ago.