Perception

September 11, 2009

in Acts of Service, Communication, Good Marriage

I was at the laundry mat today. (For the moment we have two families on one well, and we feel it’s wise to limit water use rather than find out the hard way how much we can draw.) My bride did the laundry mat run last time; I did it this time because she has a great deal of bookkeeping to do after the day job conference.

I’m about done when a woman comes in, and before she can get her stuff into washers her phone rings. It’s her husband, on his way home from work. She asks if he is going to stop on his way home and help her with the laundry. I don’t know what he told her as to why he wasn’t going to join her, but she replied “Fine, I’ll do it – AGAIN – even though I worked twelve hours today.” He apparently tried to convince her she was being unreasonable, but she quickly ended the conversation and started slamming clothing into machines.

I have no more information than this. I don’t know how many hours a week they each work, what each of them does for the other, or how they split up the family chores. Maybe her side of the phone call didn’t give me the whole story; maybe I would see things differently if I heard his side of the story.  However, her perception is 1) that she’s doing more than he’s doing, and 2) that he doesn’t care enough for her to help out. Be it accurate or not, that is her perspective, and it is reality to her. It’s what she is thinking, and feeling, and it’s what she bases her decisions on about her marriage, her husband, and how much time and energy to put into each.

What’s your bride’s perception of you and your marriage? Be it right or wrong, it is reality to her, and it’s what she bases things on. Don’t ignore her perception just because you “know” it’s wrong. You’re living with the consequences of her perceptions, so I suggest you deal with them. If her negative perceptions are wrong, how can you show her they’re wrong? If her negative perceptions are based at least in part on truth, how can you change?

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4 comments
Chrissi
Chrissi

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for recognizing that how we feel IS a reality. I think my husband is wayyyy better than average, and so is our marriage. Even so, this is something I sometimes cannot get across (when I AM trying to make him understand, we are usually in the middle of this, and I do not have to proper thought process). : ) I know that sometimes I am unreasonable and irrational; most of us are aware that we go there sometimes, but that does not invalidate how I FEEL. Thank you kind sir, for your perspective.

dbauer
dbauer

Good comments, Paul. It is amazing how many times couples get in arguements over perceptions and do not even realize that the difference is their vantage point. I remember one arguement I started thinking my wife had snubbed me and ignored the trim carpentry I did in a room addition. She returned from shopping and went right into the kitchen to start supper. For her, I must be hungry so she was meeting a need. For me, I hoped she would compliment me on my work. Thankfully, we discovered the lack of considering our perspectives and corrected the problems created. Keep up the good work.

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

Yes... Perception. Good one, Paul. To perceive is to understand, to understand is to believe, to believe is to act. There is nothing more damamging to your own credibility than to let negative perceptions go unchallenged. But, to do that you first have to be able to perceive when, of truth, you are being perceived negatively... and care enough to do something about it. Likely the woman's husband simply didn't care what she thought of him. For me, I would have met with her at the laundromat, just like we meet sometimes at the grocery store, simply because she asked me to. And we would have enjoyed each others company. Not bragging, it's just a fact because I care about how my wife perceives me, very much. And so, I will be good, just like I was created to be!

jedijohnjohn
jedijohnjohn

Perception = Relativity Einstien's Theory of Relativity states that the facts are different relative to the Observer. Never thought Relativity actually applied to relationships... but it appears that it actually does!

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