Assumptions Are the Termites Of Relationships
Truth is the Aphrodisiac for Intimacy
Posted May 31, 2011
When you see the dishes piled up in the sink, or your partner is running late or you didn't get the kiss back you expected, before you assume anything ask yourself:
1- Do I have the facts and am I making an unfound assumption?
2- Do I want to win and prove my point that my assumption is right, or do I want to develop a deeper connection and grow closer to him/her by asking versus assuming?
Rather than interpret, misperceive, or guess what your partner is up to, simply share your inner experience and ask questions. If you don't here's what happens.
Stan and Barb's intimacy became a dead zone. When I asked them to face each other and speak, Stan assumed " You don't want to have sex with me anymore. You are all closed to me" As he spoke these words, I saw his body said something loud and clear. His hands were covering his crotch! He denied this unconscious gesture of shielding his groin area until he saw a video replay of the session. The video footage spoke volumes: Stan's assumption that Barb closed down whenever he approached her sexually was an assumption, nothing more! He was the one who became protective whenever he thought about being close to his wife. Barb on the other hand, "assumed" Stan was turned off to her and having an affair so she closed off to him. The truth is Stan had no affairs and was totally turned on by his wife. Their fears and false assumptions built up over the years kept them apart. Once they stopped hoisting blame from false assumptions on each other the truth opened a door for real communication again. She was shocked that he was afraid of not performing and he was pleased that she wanted him and astonished she thought he was having an affair. That night they had become lovers again for the first time in years. Stan reported, "I was so defended against my fear of not performing well in bed that I couldn't even see what was causing me to shut down so I assumed she was closed off to me." Angie added, "It wasn't low libido that kept me from getting turned on; it was the blame and assumptions he'd been launching at me for our tepid sex life and my assumption that he was not interested in me and having sex elsewhere. Now that all those false assumptions are out of the way, we're hot for each other again!"
We all tend to create stories in our heads that are full of assumptions about our partner's feelings and behavior. These stories often have little to do with reality and usually make us very sad, angry and/or scared. We then react to these unhappy stories with a "fight or flight" response and either attack, blame, or pull away. This leads to an escalation of problems instead of resolution. Even the healthiest of loving relationships hit rough spots on occasion and of course there are times that our instincts are correct and we should listen to our gut always, but once again, asking versus assumptions can save you a lot of stress and grief. What makes for a healthy relationship is not the absence of challenges, but two people who are committed to tell truth and work through assumptions that naturally arise.