Why Assumptions Can Harm Relationships

Many couples argue about what the other person meant when they said something.

This process starts when one person listens to their partners words, and converts those words into their own meanings, and then repeats back their translation, making their partner responsible for that translation and the new meaning behind it.

Of course the person doing the translating is making a massive assumption, that they understand the intention behind their partners words.

  • There is no way any of us can truly understand what is in someone’s mind when they speak to us, so making any assumption to the real meaning is unfair on both you, and your partner.

We need assumptions in day-to-day life

The problem is we live every day making assumptions about everything, we do it because it is a short cut to getting through our day. Imagine having to know the exact meaning behind everything anyone says to us, we would never get anything done.

Assumptions in relationships tend to create conflict

However where your partner is concerned making an assumption is a dangerous game, because we are socially conditioned to think the worst first.

So what happens is, if we are confused by what our partners say, we translate it into something that makes sense to us and then we tell our partners what they meant. This creates fury in those being blamed for saying something they didn’t and an argument erupts.

If you are the victim of this situation, what is most upsetting is the automatic assumption that our partner has assumed we would do something to hurt them on purpose.

This is because it shakes the core foundations of our relationships, “trust, respect, integrity, honesty etc…” Plus we feel judged and made to feel wrong. This now creates a two way street of resentment in the relationship in that moment.

  • Resentment is a pathway to a break-up and so we can feel insecure and uncomfortable about the relationship.

Men and women communicate in very different ways

The big reason why getting clear on your partner meanings is so critical is because men and women also communicate very differently. Men tend to be very direct in their communication and women can be indirect.

So if a man is listening to a woman his chances of understanding her true meaning if he takes her words literally are very slim, especially if she is upset and she is testing him, because she feels unsafe on some level.

Of course the woman will do the same, for example if the man is quiet she will assume something is wrong. That because when women go quiet generally there is something wrong. But for men they are happy when they are quiet.

These are of course generalisation and potentially assumptions as not all men are from mars and not all women are from venus, so the message here is clear...

…Know you can never possibility know what you partner means, so you can never make them wrong in the moment. Discover their meanings behind their words or actions by asking. When they tell you what they meant, accept what they say because they understand their meanings far more than you do.

If you are going to make an assumption, always assume your partner loves you, even when it seems like they don’t.

  • If you would like more information on the sexes and the differences in communication or you are having communication issues in your relationship contact me today.
About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.