Last time we talked about "playing fair" and established that trying to "play fair" in marriage leads to relationship disaster. The 50/50 plan just does not work and demands performance. My friends at Trueface speak to performance based relationships in this quote...
Performance obsessed cultures can never promote healing. Rather, they create more wounding.
We must have a starting point in trusting one another. I suggest that starting point is the goodwill of your spouse. Monique and I learned this from Emerson and Sarah Eggerich, who so beautifully teach this in their Love and Respect material. Here is what they say;
"One key to making your relationship safe and secure is to demonstrate benevolent goodwill toward your mate – to believe he or she has good intentions, to expect the best of the other person. Even when your mate messes up, you can choose to believe in the goodwill of your spouse. Unfortunately, what often happens when you feel unloved or disrespected is that you start predicting and judging the other person's motives. Research shows that successful couples don't make condemning judgments about the other; they choose to trust their mate's intentions.
Once a couple decides to see each other as good-willed people, it changes their perspective and the filter through which they view their relationship. "Good-willed" doesn't mean we'll do good all the time; it just means that the intentions are good.
Matthew 26:41 says it well: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". Since a man and a woman naturally view conflict differently, they too often judge each other. During those times when your spouse is frustrating you, you can still believe in your mate's goodwill, respond accordingly and treat each other as teammates, partners, even allies.
More to talk about in trusting next week. See you then.
Vic and Monique
We are all about helping your marriage thrive.