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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Meeting of Minds in Marriage

CORRESPONDENCE bias explains why, in conflict, we judge the intention of our partner as bad, while we see our own intentions as right.
It’s fine to submit to such bias if we’re happy to remain conflicted within our covenant relationship, but the covenant itself intends to function beyond such bias.
When we promise to be ‘true to you in good times and in bad’ we make a commitment to truth, acknowledging truth and love are interdependent.
All relationship counsellors know that there’s ‘his truth, her truth and the truth’. Such an aphorism is a truism that fits within the bounds of all our marital lives. No partner in conflict is beyond reproach, ever. Freedom is afforded partners who embrace this humbling truth, for unless we see it operating in us our marriages are destined to be plagued with conflict and unmet needs.
None of us can be right all the time, just as none of us are wrong all the time. And with conflict it’s a case that both could have done some things differently.
And for both there are apologies to be made in the resolution of conflict.
Blessed are those who assume good motives of their partner when the marriage is contorted in knots of conflict. We certainly need to make some assumptions in marriage; because we never have all the information we need. Making assumptions of correspondence bias, which is our default way, only lands us and our marital communications in hot water. But when we choose to see our marriage partner has a good intent (and who ever intends to do damage in marriage?[1] — it must be comparatively rare) we begin to offer them the grace we give liberally to ourselves.
Assume the best in conflict and the skirmish is halfway resolved.

[1] If you feel your partner does intend bad, then perhaps there are deeper trust and sincerity issues to deal with. At times, there are such issues to resolve first. If not, it could signal that there is work to be done in your own heart.

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