Assumptions & Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias: The tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.Wikipedia

We make assumptions, often based on little or no real information. Then we look for things to support our assumptions while ignoring the things that contradict our assumptions. I could give all kinds of examples we see being argued by various groups today, but that would cause us to descend into political debate. My concern here is assumptions we make about our spouse and our marriage. 

Definition of assumption egokhan |

We all enter marriage with assumptions, and we make more assumptions as we go along. Finding a friend, a book, or a blog that supports our assumptions is pretty easy. Easy, but lazy. Easy, but bad for our marriages. 

Think about wrong assumptions others have made about you. How did it make you feel? How did you feel when you tried to challenge the assumption and get shot down? How did you feel when you did something contrary to the assumption and it was ignored or dismissed as a rare exception? Assumptions hurt, and confirmation bias makes people victims of assumptions that are no longer true or were never true.

Where are you making assumptions about your husband? How about your marriage? Where are you allowing confirmation bias to say those assumptions are true when they may not be? Regularly challenging your assumptions about your marriage and husband is a deeply loving choice. 

Challenging your assumptions about yourself is also a very good plan.

~ Paul – I’m XY and I assume my wife will continue to bless me!

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2 Comments on “Assumptions & Confirmation Bias

  1. Pre existing belief: all men want sex, almost all the time. A man, especially one who loves his wife, will pursue her sexually.

    Assumption: because my husband does not pursue me sexually, he must not love me or find me attractive. He must be tolerating me and seeing me as repulsive.

    Confirmation Bias: almost EVERY website, blog, and marriage book backs this up. There are about 54,368 resources for marriages that have a wife with a low sex drive. There might be one or two articles out there addressing marriages with a low drive husband. (I’m exaggerating, of course, but only slightly).

    Assumption: if my husband has a lower interest in sex than I do, there is something horribly wrong with me.

    What we have FINALLY discovered through years of my tears and a lot of painful discussion. My husband means it when he says he loves me and does not think I am repulsive. He is an introvert and has an incredibly hard time even letting on that he wants sex. He would rather wait for me to initiate than to do it himself. He won’t even hint! He thinks he does, but he doesn’t. He actually thinks if sex is on his mind, then I will “just know”.

    This explains a lot. For the first 15 years of our marriage I initiated and he almost always agreed and things were fine. I was too stupid to know it should be the other way around. Then he went through a period of depression and so he lost all drive and turned me down more often than not for several years. The only sex I got during that time was “shut her up sex”. That’s when I discovered blogs and found out normal men love sex and pursue their wives often. My self worth took a HUGE hit and I tried everything to get rid of my sex drive.

    Thankfully, he’s no longer depressed, I’ve discovered my self worth has to be found in Jesus – not in a man (not even my husband). I’m slowly regaining confidence.

    He still won’t initiate, maybe once every couple months, though he will gladly participate if I get things started. I’m not sure why he can’t get past this, and why he can’t understand what a blow this is to my womanhood, or my worth as a wife. But…it is what it is.

    So yea, I get the confirmation bias thing. It’s really, really, really hard to challenge it, but I’m trying. I’m trying to understand that his lack of interest in sex has nothing to do with my worth as a woman, but boy is it hard!

    • @Me – This could so easily have been resolved early on with some good mentoring before and after marriage. I’m glad you finally got it figured out, but I’m sorry it took so long.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Got Mental Health?My Profile

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