I visited with a couple who just had a big argument. The husband (I’ll call Harry) had made an important decision without consulting his wife (Mary). When Mary found out, she was furious. I asked Harry why he hadn’t talked to his wife before making this decision. He answered that he knew she would disagree but he felt it was the right decision. As we visited more, it turned out that Mary actually agreed with the decision. She was just upset about not being consulted, about not being part of the decision making. Apparently Harry didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he did.
How well do you know your spouse? Sometimes we get so caught up in our own world that we don’t really take the time to get to know who the person is that we married. Sometimes we assume they think just like we do and if they don’t, they're wrong. And yet, we didn’t marry “ourself”. We married someone else. In fact, we chose someone who had qualities we believed (either consciously or unconsciously) would help us grow and develop and become a more complete person.
Sometimes we assume we know our spouses but maybe we don't really know them as well as we think we do. When was the last time, for example, that you asked your husband for his opinion or your wife for her input? When they answered (if they weren’t completely speechless) did you listen to learn – genuinely wanting to know how they felt about things? And, if they felt differently than you, did you carefully consider what you could learn from them?
Marriage is a wonderful opportunity to become more together than either of us could become separately. It’s grafting two plants into one to make a stronger, healthier, sweeter fruit.