The other day I thought my wife was frustrated with me. I thought this because she used a certain word in talking to me. I would never use that word with her unless I was frustrated with her. And since 5 + X = 13, I knew she must be frustrated!
Of course, you see the problem there, right? I had the 5, but not the “X”. I got to 13 based on what the “X” would be for me. The thing is, my wife is not me, and for her “X” was 2. Last time a checked, 5 + 2 ≠ 13.
Then two amazing things happened:
- I realised I was reading myself into what she said.
- She realised how I would feel about what she said.
So we had a nice little talk and everything was fine. How awesome is that?
It’s nice we both got a clue, and it made avoiding hard feelings faster and easier, but we could have navigated it well had either of us “got it” while the other did not. Sidestepping this kind of problem only requires one spouse to get it.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife said “emoting”.