Love is filled with nuances. When we tell our sweetheart, “Yes, I’ll do what you ask”, the nuance of our voice might say, “And I’m happy to do it”, but our beloved hears, “I wish you hadn’t asked”. Huh?
Now we have the need to recover our relationship from the misinterpretation, and so we explain our true intentions. Often, this is met with doubt, and we end up defending ourselves. An argument develops from what should have been a blessed moment of serving our sweetheart.
How does this happen?
We’re all handicapped by automatic expectations based on things that have happened to us in the past, the examples given to us by our families of origin, and the worldview we developed from these. In other words, we don’t have a strong ability to perceive nuances.
All of us interpret every situation through this handicap and we easily spot evidence that supports it. We unconsciously and automatically discredit or ignore the nuances that contradict our worldview.
For example, if we had a father who took time off of work to help us with homework grudgingly, and he was too busy to play with us, we unconsciously expect our sweetheart to feel begrudged when we want to divert his/her attention to do something for us. We overlook the nuance of the smile and the loving eye contact.
It’s natural to assume that we interpret correctly our beloved’s feelings, motives, and meanings. This is why it’s imperative to take time to describe our feelings and our inner thoughts. Not explain. Describe.
“When you asked me to do that favor for you yesterday, I was delighted to have the opportunity to help you in that way. It made me feel closer to you. It felt like teamwork, and whenever we do something as a team, our unity feels like a glove that fits perfectly and comfortably over my hand. You know how a hand feels warmed by the glove? That’s how I felt when you asked me to do you that favor.”
Vivid, memorable picture stories are what people remember, especially when we live them out with actions that prove our words.
- The last time my sweetheart misinterpreted my intentions, how did I handle it?
- What are the subtle clues that show me that my beloved cares about me?
Strengthen your relationship:
What are some of the nuances that you see in each other that are evidence of love? Describe how you feel about them. Then pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to improve your interpretations by his divine power in you.
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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries