Communication. It’s one of the essential tools of Husband Training*. And a huge obstacle to good communication is the false belief that you are a mind reader. You are not. Neither am I. Neither is your spouse.
Now, rationally, you know this is true. And yet when I listen to people describe relationship conflicts, mind reading is one of the most common problems. It’s signaled by phrases like, “But he should know,” “We’ve been together for X years,” “Why do I have to tell him everything?”, “Isn’t it obvious?”, “Well he didn’t come right out and say it but…”. Whenever you face frustration, stop and think for a minute about the causes. Really examine the source of what you think you know. Do you know your husband won’t take ballroom dance lessons with you because he said, “I will never take ballroom dance lessons with you”? Or do you “know” it because he said, “Change the channel – I would rather watch golf than competitive ballroom dancing.” Or maybe he said, “Ballroom dancing is so lame.” Unless he has specifically ruled out ballroom dancing lessons with you, you don’t actually know he won’t take lessons. Just say, “Hey, I’m interested in taking ballroom dancing lessons, but I don’t think you’d enjoy it. Am I wrong?”
Watch your inner monologue this week and pay attention to when you are mind reading. I bet you’ll be surprised at how often you play the psychic!
* Husband Training is a humorous term used to describe a method of encouraging healthy and fulfilling interactions between two equal peers involved in child-rearing or marriage.