Wear rose coloured glasses (DW#548)

Have you noticed how blind some people seem to be to their spouses’ obvious flaws? They seem to be wearing rose coloured glasses and keep making excuses for their spouses’ shortcomings. They can be quite annoying at times; don’t you think?

Well, it turns out that people like that have hit upon a very important secret for having happy relationships. Couples in happy relationships have mastered the art of positive interpretations. When their spouse does something annoying or causes offence in some way, they attribute it to temporary circumstances which are external and not a part of their spouse’s core character. 

So, for example, if they are late, instead of going on about how they are always late and making it mean something big, they will give their spouse the benefit of the doubt. Something must have come up, they have been preoccupied or busy at work, they do try but struggle with keeping time etc. etc. 

If the bank account is overdrawn, instead of making it mean that their spouse is irresponsible or doesn’t care about the family budget, they will attribute the overspending to an external event such as something must have come up for sale, they really deserve it because they work so hard or some other version which does not make their spouse look bad. 

Now you might be thinking but what if their thinking is not accurate? What if their spouse really does have a problem with timing or with finances? 

Here’s the thing: in relationships, there is no "objective truth". People have various ways of spending money and managing time, for example. Some may be more functional than others, but mostly we label what we are doing as the "correct" way and what the other is doing as somehow "wrong". 

Happy couples hack their marriage by putting a positive perspective on their spouses’ actions and to resist the temptation to judge them negatively. 

A little generous thinking, it turns out, goes a long way in a happy marriage. 

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