Stop Assuming The Very Worst

We see it with almost every couple. Whatever just happened is interpreted by each spouse in the worst possible way.

“You did it on purpose.”

“What you said when you were angry is how you really feel about me.”

“You meant to hurt me.”

“You know I hate it, that is why you did it.”

‘Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.’ Proverbs 25:8 (Message)

2% Rule of Assumption

If you listed all the people in your life that has ever loved and cared about you, or that you have loved and cared about, and then circled all the ones that have every hurt you, you would probably end up circling most of them.

That means that most of the people you have loved and cared about have hurt you at some time in your experience of them.

Yet if you then wrote another list of all the names of those you have circled who have hurt you intentionally, on purpose, the list would be small.   A researcher did just that and learned that most people identify an average of about 2% of the loving, caring people as those who hurt them on purpose.

In the moment that we are hurt but those we love and care about, we assume that they did it intentionally, on purpose. But over time, we usually see that they did it unintentionally, without malice.

Assuming The Best

What if, in the moments after our spouse does (or does not) do something that in some way offends or hurts our feelings, we took a moment to remember that most of the times in our lifetime when someone we love does something to hurt us, they did not do it on purpose.

What if, instead of thinking the very worst about the motives of our spouse, we took a few minutes to think through other possible motives.

What if, instead of assuming the worst, we discovered a whole list of possible reasons for their action (or lack of action) and that we chose to believe the very best possible reason that they engaged in that behavior.

You cannot control what will emotionally trigger, or hurt, you, but you can control what you do when you are triggered.

Unless they are engaging in dangerous behavior, choose to interpret what they are doing in the best possible light. Assume the best, and keep creating the marriage you have always deserved.

What do you have to say?

We love to hear from readers.  Do you agree that most of the time those who love you the most have not hurt you intentionally on purpose? Have you found yourself in a habit of always assuming the worst motives for what your spouse has done (or is not doing)?  Have you ever tried assuming the best?  What other suggestions you would add to this article? Do you know someone you need to forward this article to?

This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at © Roy and Devra Wooten 2016. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at


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