When Emotions Are Treated As Facts
Okay, I know I’m on dangerous ground here, so be nice to me!
My intention here is not to dismiss feelings or say they are invalid. However, we can feel things that are not true, and if we base what we believe on such feelings we end up with all kinds of problems.
I might feel betrayed by my wife, but that does not mean she has betrayed me. I might feel dismissed or ignored by her when she had no intention of doing those things. I might feel she can’t be trusted when in reality she has done nothing untrustworthy.
This gets even worse when we play the if-then game If she said ABC, then that means she thinks XYZ. Because she did QRS I know she is LMN. Sometimes our if-then guesses are right, but far too often they are somewhere between a bit off and 100% wrong. When we get it wrong it’s because the other person does not think, feel, and process as we do. What seems like an obvious logical progression to us is not how their mind works. Some of these are due to a difference in how men and women think, while others are about differences in personality, culture, or family background. Sex-based differences tend to be especially bad because our same sex friends agree with us.
So, the next time you and your husband are at odds and he says ABC does not mean XYZ, give him the benefit of the doubt. What seems like a straight line to you may not be a line at all for him.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’ve learned assumptions cause all kinds of marital problems.
More or Less Related Post: My friend J, of Hot, Holy & Humorous recently posted When “I Feel…” Statements Don’t Work