Stop the Blame Game in its Tracks
Has your husband or wife ever denied saying something that you vividly remember him or her saying? Well, it turns out that spouses often have different memories of the same event.
Research shows that sometimes spouses can’t even agree on events that happened in the last 24 hours, like whether or not they had an argument or who said what during an argument. The reason for this is that a person’s memory of an event depends on how the person perceives an event. Therefore, the reason why your spouse doesn’t remember saying something that you vividly remember them saying is because they perceived or understood it differently.
Just because your memory of an event is more vivid or detailed doesn’t mean that it’s accurate. It is still tainted by the emotions that you had during the event.
Studies also show that due to “egocentric bias”, people remember their own words and actions better than those of others. This means that just because you remember exactly what you said or did doesn’t mean that you remember what your spouse said or did.
How to Resolve this Relationship Issue
Ask for clarification
Listening goes beyond hearing what your partner is saying. It also involves demonstrating your understanding of what was said and asking for clarification.
The easiest way to do this is through active listening. This means paraphrasing what your spouse has said and their feelings on the issue and then repeating it to them. Another way is to ask questions that prompt your spouse to elaborate or provide more detail.
Assume good Intent
Active listening is great but it is not always possible in married life. Having to clarify every little thing that your spouse says can get old really fast.
However you should always assume that your partner has good intentions, unless of course he or she gives you a reason to believe otherwise. Remember, your interpretation of what your spouse says or does is not the same as his or her intention. In other words, the way you interpret something may not be the way your spouse meant it.
Accept both versions of events
It is important to accept that your spouse’s version of events is just as valid as your own. It’s unlikely that your spouse is blatantly lying so both versions probably have some truth to them.