When we were in Raleigh, NC a couple of weeks ago, we had a bit of a storm.

Big Storm! © Minerva Studio | stock.adobe.com

A say “a bit” based on living 41 years in Austin TX, where we got several storms of the same strength each year, plus a couple stronger storms. Had I spoken as a native of Eastern Washington, I’d have called it an extreme storm. In six years living there, I saw only one storm as strong as what we had in Raleigh. By Raleigh standards, it was a bad storm, but not extreme. 

It’s funny how what we’ve experienced in the past changes how we see things. In Austin, an inch of snow is a disaster that shuts down the city. Half way between Spokane and Canada (our home base), an inch of snow is barely noticed.

Marriage is the same way. How we see an event is very much determined by what we have experienced in the past. Our family of origin is a major factor. Past relationships colour how we perceive things. Our culture, church, and media also have an impact.

A couple of points from this:

  1. It may not be as bad as you think. Some folks in Eastern Washington would have headed for the basement for what we had in Raleigh. We sat at the table by the big window in our RV and watched as we ate dinner. Besides having been through worse, we know how to tell if a storm is potentially dangerous, and this one was no threat unless you were close to trees that might lose a branch.
  2. It might be worse than you think. We can get overly confident. Evey year the first snow in Spokane is accompanied by a lot of fender benders from people who should know better. 
  3. If it seems horrible to your wife but not to you, her perspective is neither wrong nor silly. Telling someone “That’s not how the sky looks when there’s a tornado” does little to calm them even if they believe you intellectually.

How does your past shape your thoughts about things in your marriage? Where does your wife’s different past give her a different perspective?

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