EXTRASENSORY perception (ESP), I have learned the hard way, more times than I care to admit, is not a gift married couples receive when they wed.
One of the first times I discovered this was when I tripped over a beanbag on a loungeroom floor and accused my then-wife of having either put it there or of not removing it. Little did I realise she had no idea that I would even attempt to walk over it! How could she not see this? … that was over twenty-five years ago.
Then only recently, in helping load the car with shopping, I shinned the tow bar on the car. Writhing in pain I was so tempted to sound off at my wife for having put the trolley so close to it. Of course, she had no idea that I’d approach the task from that side. But shouldn’t she have read my mind? As I surveyed the day, this was the third of such events where I caught myself seriously wondering why her ESP was not only failing, but non-existent! Why was she deliberately trying to harm me like this?
ESP is like a sixth sense that would be really helpful in marriage where communication failures occur multiple times daily.
The fact is living with another person makes for efficiencies at times that can lead us to think we’re advantaged. Those very same dynamics conspire against us, however, when one or both assume something of the other, that something was communicated and wasn’t, or where expectations are just plain unrealistic.
It happens. In the common marriage it happens a lot. And it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
When we rediscover the folly in expecting our marriage partner to exercise ESP, we begin to own our own errors, and instead of seeking an apology, we begin to seek their forgiveness.
Marital success is due mostly to the nurtured ability to practice the overlooking of offenses.