Everyone warns new couples of the challenges relationships face, and while that can be true, there are so many small steps we can take to make relationships easier. Keeping Christ at the center of our relationships means truly listening to each other and attempting to understand one another during times of difficulty.
One of the most common problems I see in couples is a lack of empathy for one another. The definition of empathy is our ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, and to truly attempt to understand how they feel. How often do we find ourselves really doing this when our spouse tells us how they feel? Many of us are defensive, continuing in the pursuit of convincing each other of the fact that we are right and they are wrong. No matter whether you agree or disagree with what your spouse is feeling, remember, it is very real to them and when we don’t listen or attempt to defend our position, the conversation often escalates, resulting in anger and distance.
So next time you find yourself in a spat, try saying, “You know, I think I get how you feel,” or “I can see how you could have seen it that way.”