We choose to be a couple which is honest with one another about our thoughts, feelings, and expectations.
We aren't perfect. We fail miserably. Yet our desire is to be a couple which openly communicates with one another.
A guiding principle to produce this outcome is the understanding that I can't read my spouse's mind.
And I can't expect her to read my mind either.
I hear it all the time:
"If he loved me, he would know what I want."
"I shouldn't have to ask."
"He should know what he did wrong."
Even if he should know, he doesn't. Even if you shouldn't have to ask, you do. And even you want him to know, he won't until you tell him.
People are different. They see the world differently. They have different expectations. They have different experiences.
Men and women are even more different. We were created with different strengths and weakness. We are supposed to see the world differently.
Because of these differences, we can't expect others to be able to read our minds.
Love is not the ability to know what our spouse is thinking without asking; love is taking the time, asking, listening, and acting in response to what our spouse tells us.
Because we can't read each other's minds, we must:
Take each other's words at face value
If I say something, Jenny must assume I mean it. I can't say one thing expecting her to interpret it as something else. If she says "yes," she can't expect me to understand, "I'm saying yes, but I really mean no so you better not do it." If I say I'm OK with something, I better be OK with it.
Assumptions can be dangerous. If we assume we know what the other is thinking, we would be tempted not to ask our spouse their thoughts. By assuming we don't know what the other is thinking, we are more likely to communicate. If you are going to assume, assume you don't know.
Be understanding when we get it wrong
Marriage is supposed to be difficult. We are supposed to get it wrong. Being wrong allows us to grow. If we never made mistakes, we would never learn more about one another or ourselves. We would never truly need the love on which on relationship is based.
Jenny and I would love to be that couple who completely understands each other with such depth that we can complete each other's sentences and know what the other person thinks before they even say it.
Because we want to be that couple, we do everything to share our minds, hearts, and feelings. Becoming that couple is not something that happens when a couple falls in love; it is a byproduct of a lifetime of communication, shared experiences, and learning to understand one another.
Kevin A. Thompson is Lead Pastor of Community Bible Church, a multi-site church in Fort Smith, AR. He currently writes a daily blog focusing on leadership, marriage, and parenting (specifically parenting a child with special needs). Along with his wife, Kevin is co-owner of JThompsonMMC, a full-service media and marketing company based in Fort Smith. He is a graduate of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and Oklahoma Baptist University. Kevin is also the author of "Friends, Partners, and Lovers—What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work.