“Men and women belong to different species and communication between them is still in its infancy”
We awoke this morning to a beautiful day with birds chirping, lots of sunshine and a cool slight breeze. My wife had been gone for a week spending time with our newborn grandchild and I was recovering from hip surgery and still suffering with a bum left shoulder. She was tired and sore and I wanted to rub her back and shoulders. In order to do this, I had to move to her side of the bed so that I could lie on my non-operated hip and use my good shoulder to try to soothe her pain.
As I lie there rubbing her shoulders, I began to think about why we each have settled into even having a side of the bed. Even though we were only a few feet apart, things are different from her side of the bed…the view of the TV, the distance to the bathroom, and the proximity of the air conditioning vent, to name a few.
We have two homes and, depending on where we are, I sleep on the right side or the left. It is different in each home but once in that home it does not change. I wonder if other couples have a “side of the bed”. If we stay in a hotel it is usually the air conditioning vent that drives the decision for me.
She soon drifted off to sleep or deep relaxation. I thought of how much she has done for our family and how much I wanted to take care of her. I reflected on a disagreement we had yesterday and pondered more deeply her perspective. Being on her side of the bed and caring for her made me reflect on her side of the argument and give it more weight.
There is no doubt or surprise that as husbands and wives we often view things through two different lenses. There is also no doubt or surprise that the more often we consider the issues through the eyes of our partner, the more likely we are to reach a better decision and one that brings more joy to our family.
Perhaps next time you reach an impasse with your wife, swallow your pride and quiet your energy. Ask her to scoot over and crawl into her side of the bed. Rub her shoulders and ask her to relax for a moment. Take a look around the room and how things look different from her side of the bed. As she slowly drifts off to sleep or deep relaxation consider more deeply her side of the argument. Make yourself relax. Does the importance of the outcome of the argument really even matter? How does it rank when you consider things that are most important to you? Perhaps it is worth another discussion but with a little more empathy and consideration on your part.
I promise that if you can do this, you will strengthen your marriage and deepen your wisdom…and if you are lucky, you might even get your shoulders rubbed in return.
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