I had a teacher who enforced a class rule: Never assume. Never assume you already know the instructions on the test, be sure to read them anyway. Don't assume your paper is due Tuesday morning like always; make sure you double-check every due date. And assuming your name is most likely on your quiz is a good way to get a missing score.
As helpful as it was in the classroom, this no assuming policy also extends to general life skills as well. Never assume that particular water bottle is yours, it could belong to the girl in class with a nasty cold. Don't assume your car is out of the red zone (probably), and don't assume the "5-second rule" is fact. That last one is very important.
In the cruel world of middle school, this class motto saved me from a few extra academic headaches, and I'm sure kept me from contracting a couple extra colds later on in life. As trivial as this little policy may seem, the value of not assuming is just as applicable to more serious situations, like marriage.
Try applying this classroom policy of never assuming to your marriage and see how things improve. You may be surprised that assumption forms the base for many behaviors that cause issues in a marriage. While there may not be a prescribed fix-all for these behaviors, applying a no assuming policy can help put a stop to these concerns.
Jumping to conclusions is a hidden form of assuming information. Poor communication is based on thinking you know exactly what your spouse is thinking. Little arguments are also based on incorrect assumptions and information. This human reaction to assume is a straightforward way to be unhappy.
Making assumptions lead to misinformation, misjudgment and shattered expectations. This no assuming policy should be put into place in your marriage, with your children, and in any other influential relationships in your life. Can you count how many times starting a discussion with "well I assumed" actually ended well? And assuming that you are right seldom turns out with both parties in a good mood. As life demonstrates, assumptions are better if avoided.
It's a difficult habit to break because it is human nature to assume. It's a conscious decision that we each need to make, over and over again. Assuming is so automatic that even "never assume" as a classroom or life motto wasn't enough to break the habit. But maybe it's not meant to be broken entirely.
So, in summary: Never assume... except for one thing.
Not to seem contradictory, but there is a loophole in that middle school mantra. And the one exception to the rule is to always assume love. Always and forever assume that your wife loves you, your husband adores you, and your kids love each of you. You love each other.
This firm assumption of love should never be challenged for it creates more problems than it solves. While there are gaps in judgment and communication in every relationship, assuming that love is the foundation will help round out the rough edges of an argument. So allow your knee-jerk reaction to assume to only apply to love, and stop assuming that leak-proof plastic bags are actually leak-proof. Taking a 'never assume except for love' approach to your marriage will certainly help maintain positive communication, decrease hurt feelings and save you from a few life mishaps.
Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.