Assume Love

October 26, 2012

in Be a grownup, Good Marriage, Links to good stuff, Seeing Clearly

This is a jump on the bandwagon post, following Scott’s Do You Assume Love? over at Journey to Surrender and a great many posts by Patty of Assume Love (check the How to assume love Archives.)

Heart shaped cherries | Pixomar freedigitalphotos.net

The basic idea of assuming love it to assume your spouse is acting out of love, not malice. Make this your default, go to assumption, with the fall back being they just were not thinking, or have no idea how their actions made you feel.

Yes, this can be difficult, and sometimes the most obvious assumption is something other than love. So, let me give you a few good reasons why you should assume love:

  1. You have little to lose by assuming love. If your wife proves her actions were not loving, you can deal with that, and you have not really lost power by initially assuming love. (In fact, I’d say you gain power with this assumption!)
  2. If you assume something other than love, and you are wrong, you do lose something. At the very least, you look bad, and you almost certainly hurt your relationship.
  3. Human nature is to live up to or down to expectations. Given this, love is a great expectation to offer.
  4. If love is not a safe thing to assume, your marriage is in very bad shape you need to get help IMMEDIATELY! Think about it a bit; what would it mean if assuming love were not reasonable? Has she really given you good reason to assume she usually does not act out of love? If so, get help, if not, stop assuming the worse.

You might argue there are places where she has proven she does not usually act out of love. This may be so, but always assuming the worse is a good way to ensure it is what you get. You might go with “assume but verify” but do not do the verifying in an abrupt, in your face way.

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2 comments
Rick
Rick

Morning Paul! This is a critical, yet difficult practice indeed. For too many years, indeed our darkest years, were predicated on the assumption of malice. This bred more resentment, more presumtion of malice and a downward spiral of self-fulfilling expectations. Though I haven't come full circle in the presumtion of Love, I am working on it. Clearly that problem lies within me and not my DW! In anycase, since I can clearly see the self-fulfilling principle active in the presumption of the negative it clearly stands to reason that the same self-fulfilling principle will play out in the assumption of Love! Indeed, that is also a key component, presumption of "good", that my wife teaches as part of her "Crucial Conversations" seminars. What works, works! Blessings Paul!

livinginblurredlines
livinginblurredlines

So true! I did not realize how negative and depressed I was until I was around truly optimistic and happy people. That was such an eye opener for me! It is similar with this. I realized I wasn't assuming love, but when I started to, I was appalled at how much I assumed selfishness, deceit and malice. It permeated everything. "He must not love me," rung in my ears from my own imagination. On the same token, I have to often remind hubby to assume love (and honesty and straightforwardness) with me. He grew up with a manipulative mother, so he often reverts back to thinking I am trying to manipulate him. I used to not be able to cry in front of him because it would make him angry because his mom used tears to get her way. Assuming love also helps keep the enemy at bay. When we assume the worst, the enemy has a way in to mess with our heads and make it snowball into an avalanche of distrust that can destroy a marriage.

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