How Do You View Your Spouse’s Differences?

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Sometimes perspective is everything,  isn’t it?

Take marriage as an example. It’s easy for husbands and wives to fixate  on their differences, maybe because those differences can easily become the source of marital conflict.

From there, it’s only a short leap for a spouse to think that their way of doing things is better, or their thinking is superior.

It’s like a story I heard once of an English professor who wrote a simple sentence on the classroom board for his students to punctuate. With no marks at all, the sentence read, “A woman without her man is nothing.”

When the guys in the class added commas, the sentence read like this: “A woman, without her man, is nothing.”

But when the women added punctuation, it read this way:  “A woman; without her, man is nothing.”

Well, I think both views are correct.

It’s inevitable that men and women will see each other differently, because we are different! But “different” doesn’t have to mean “better” or “worse.” It also doesn’t have to mean that one spouse is superior over another.

That kind of thinking distorts a couple’s relationship. Instead of bringing their abilities together and working as a team, they allow their differences to separate them and cause friction.

How can couples avoid that slippery slope?

That’s where the irony sets in. Because despite the problem being how couples see each other, the solution is… how they see one another.

That’s why I’d suggest women rewrite the English professor’s sentence this way: “A woman – without her husband’s support and love – she’s less than she can be.”

And men, I suggest you change the sentence to say, “A man – without his wife’s support and respect – he’s less than he can be.”

Because the reality is husbands and wives each have their own strengths.

But neither one can reach their full potential until they combine their differences and work together — as a team.

So, the question is worth asking: How do you view yours spouse’s differences?

And before I sign off, I want to leave you with one of our online marriage resources. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ article, “Believing the Best About Your Spouse,” can help you view your spouse’s differences in a positive light.

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