In our relationships it is important to remember there are two sides to every story. We sometimes lose sight of this because when we feel hurt, our side is the only side that matters. We can become so entrenched in our own feelings that we forget our partner loves us, we forget their true intentions, and we forget they have a story too. But when we expand our view, we are able to see more of the truth and get back to loving our partner and living more peacefully.
I was reminded of this when I heard a couple relate a story over the holidays.
A woman was expressing her disappointment to me about her Christmas gift from her husband. She was disappointed and felt hurt and unloved because in her mind, the gift lacked effort, thought and love. She was unimpressed, to say the least.
Later, I discovered her husband had actually put a lot of thought into it. He spent days thinking about what to buy, wandered around the malls and looked in all her favourite shops. He finally realized it was unlikely he would find anything she’d really like and he didn’t want her to have to deal with the hassle of returning something after Christmas. Wanting to please her and ensure she really got what she wanted, he opted for a gift certificate.
This is a great example of how different things can look when we are able to put all the pieces of the story together.
When we get caught up in ourselves and what we think, it’s easy to forget that our partner is most likely doing their best. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking does our partner and our relationship a huge disservice. A lot of hurt, disappointment and conflict can be resolved by giving our partner the benefit of the doubt and realizing they have a story and being open to hearing it too.