Last week, I wrote about friendship in marriage and writing about understanding seems to be the perfect sequence. There can be no understanding in a marriage that is lacking friendship. Those moments when it feels like your partner just does not seem to get you; when it feels like you're in that marriage all by yourself; when your partner's thoughts and actions keep confusing you; when you just cannot figure your partner out; when suddenly the person that seemed like an open book while you were dating seems so complicated all of a sudden; when there is just no middle ground to meet; when you know that the intent is golden but the actions seem to be all wrong. These are moments when we need more than enough understanding in our homes. When we relax, take a deep breath and put ourselves in our partner's shoes. When we take it upon ourselves to follow his train of thought and reevaluate that it was not a bad thought after all. When we decide to be considerate and really understand our spouses. The act of understanding in marriage is that of maturity and love.
So many times when we get to confusing points in our homes, we close in on our conclusions. We have let our past experiences and past hurts instill a high level of paranoia in us so much so that we become suspicious of every little thing. He/she lied to you some time ago, therefore you begin to suspect every little thing as a lie. This is a normal human reaction but in marriage we have to strive to curb that reaction because if there is no room for a benefit of doubt then that marriage is headed for the rocks. The fact is we all make mistakes in marriage. Not one of us is able to live smoothly as a husband/wife without any hitches. How can we then live our lives knowing that once we make one single mistake, every other action becomes suspicious? This is where understanding is some times needed. Where you take your partner as though he/she were your child, who offends and disappoints you every time but you give a thousand and one second chances. Who when he/she does something you do not support or like, you put yourself in his/her shoes and think if you would have done things differently if you were in that same position. Even if you then know that you could not have taken that decision, you walk your thought through your partner's life, upbringing, ideals and you try to understand why he/she has taken such a step.
It is a big step in the right direction and a big victory when we stop expecting our partner to act a certain way or have some reactions we deem natural. When we begin to understand what forms him/her as a person. He/she has not just changed all of a sudden, it has always been there but now you make a decision and conscious effort to understand who your partner really is. He/she is the person you married, he/she is not just being wicked intentionally, that is the partner you chose to spend the rest of your life with. Even if you now do not love what you see at least understanding the character and attitude is a first step to help you lower those expectations. Don't forget your partner is not you and will never be you. He/she will never think like you and believe in every thing you believe. The earlier you begin to understand his/her own ideals, the better for you.
Let us live, love and learn for the journey is still far and it is not for the fainthearted.