Giving Your Partner the Benefit of the Doubt?

Do you find yourself strapping on the emotional boxing gloves and internally prepping for an argument after your partner does or says something that propels you through the roof? You immediately start thinking about allllllll the things that you’re going to say to stick it to him/her (“Ohhhhhhh, I’m going to tell you all about yourself today!”).

One possible way to derail that argument is to practice giving your partner the BENEFIT of the DOUBT. This tip works wonders for those small issues that can build up over time and create giant concerns (such as the toilet seat up or down argument that partners have been having since the invention of those U shaped villains).

Basically, consider your partner’s character, history, and ways that he or she has shown or expressed love in the past. Then ask yourself if the way your feeling is really from a direct attack to you or is there a possibility that your partner had no purposeful intention of causing you any turmoil. You can practice this by asking yourself a few questions and/or reminding yourself of a few things. Below are some examples:

  1. Does my partner typically have my best interest in mind?
  2. What are some ways that my partner demonstrates that he or she cares about me, loves me, wants the best for me?
  3. Is there the remotest possibility that my partner had no plans to intentionally hurt my feelings, do something that offended me, or irritate, annoy, or disrespect me?
  4. Think about 1 or 2 possible reasons that the thing that sent you through the roof might have happened (Ex. Was your partner tired, distracted, in a hurry, misunderstanding something, etc.).
  5. Check in with yourself and assess if anything specific has happened to you throughout the week or day that may have you more “raw” then usual (like lack of sleep, a co-worker getting on your nerves, worried about finances, etc..).
  6. Consider some of the wonderful reasons that you are together and allow the positive thoughts and memories of your togetherness to help you ease off those boxing gloves.

Perhaps considering these possibilities will put you in a more relaxed place and better equipped to have a productive conversation about the issue at hand…or perhaps you decide to give him or her a grace-filled pass because you practiced giving the benefit of the doubt!

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