A misunderstanding can happen so easily. One partner says something the other believes it was a slight and gets offended and then there is a disagreement.
But what really happened was someone saying something that the other person didn’t quite understand and the receiver made it into something that it wasn’t.
Does this sound like something that happens in your relationship? Well, it happened in mine.
Being Dismissed Hurts
My husband and I were watching a basketball game. I was rooting for the team that wasn’t playing too well. I am vocal. My husband is not. I see this terrible playing and I am making comments, “Oh no, I can’t stand the way they are playing. They are terrible. Oh no!”
I am loud and I appear to be unhappy. I am of course oblivious to what my husband is witnessing. I think I am just watching a game and having a reaction. But my husband says, “Maybe you should leave the room.”
I heard this and I got mighty offended. I felt like he kicked me. I got on my high horse and said, “You don’t have to fix me. Just let me watch the game. Please ignore me and you watch your game and I will watch mine.”
Misunderstanding Can Make Support Look Like Something Else
I was mad. Eventually I got up and went into another room. When I came back my husband said, “Hello,” in a very sweet, wanting-to-connect voice. I was still miffed so I said in a flat voice with no emotion, “Hello.”
Then he said, “I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. I was worried about you. You sounded distressed. I wanted you to take care of yourself. That was all.”
Immediately I realized I had misjudged him. I said, “I thought you wanted me to leave the room.” And he replied, “I never want you to leave.”
I felt so loved when he said that. I apologized for getting my hackles up. He apologized too and we were back the way we always are.
Remember That Your Partner Loves You, and When In Doubt, Ask Them to Clarify!
People misjudge each other. Can you see that I made the wrong assumption when he said what he said to me? I didn’t ask if he really wanted me to leave, I just assumed that he wanted to watch alone.
I could have said, “Do you want me to leave?” He would have said, “NO, I was just worried about you.”
But I didn’t ask that, I just got mad. This happens to humans, but hopefully you and your mate can figure out what is being said and not jump to conclusions like I did.
Couples love each other. They don’t try to hurt each other. Try and remember that. I hope I can.
Misunderstand Each Other Less, Starting Today!
Read a Book About Relationships
Want to reduce misunderstanding in your relationship and bounce back faster from disagreements? Try reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you develop critical skills for communicating and resolving conflict, helping you fight less and feel closer to one another. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.