Stop Judging Your Partner“Really get to know a person by watching them closely without judgment.” T.R. Horne
Wonderful things will happen when you offer your partner acceptance and attention, rather than criticism and judgment. What might happen if we simply respected our partner’s right to think what they think and feel how they feel?
It is an interesting challenge to let go of the need to weigh and measure everything to decide if we approve. What if our approval is not required? Simply our acceptance.
Unfortunately, for too many couples, the frequency of acceptance and approval starts to diminish as disappointments, hurts and resentments build up. Criticism, right-fighting and judgment enters the relationship. Blame and judgment go hand-in-hand in creating division and discontent in relationships.
Judgment gives the messages, you are not enough; you are defective somehow. Judgment gets in the way of loving unconditionally. It sets a tone for the attitude of – I love you when you do what I want or what I expect. It leads to the withholding of love.
It is a challenge to give up the tendency to judge what our partner says or does. Hopefully we never use words such as stupid, idiot or worse when we are talking to or refering to our partner. These attitudes and words are extremely poisonous to relationships.
Interesting things will start to happen when we give up the need to decide if what our partner does or says is good or bad, right or wrong. Sitting in judgment of our partner leads to conflict.
Try replacing “It is good that you . . .” with “I enjoyed when you . . .” and “You were right” with “I appreciated when you . . .”
Try replacing “You are wrong” with “We seem to disagree, here is how I see it” and “That was a stupid thing to do” with “That was is an interesting choice, what made you decide . . .” Your tone of voice is probably as or more important than the words you choose.
It is not our place to judge our partner. If we find ourselves judging our partner, there is a very good chance that we also judge ourselves harshly. Make a habit of focusing on the positives. Pay attention to your strengths and your partner’s strengths. When you catch yourself thinking judgmental thoughts about yourself or your partner, try putting a more positive spin on those thoughts.
Passing judgment hurts our partner and the relationship. It fills the relationship with negativity and although it may momentarily feel satisfying, it usually leads to feeling worse in the long run.
Control what you can control – and that is not your partner.
Susan Derry, B.Ed., M.S.Psy., R.T.C., C.P.C.
Professional Counselor; Life Coach
Co-author of Marriage Prep: Beginnings a downloadable marriage preparation course
Co-author of Intimate Sex: Manual for Lovemaking, a sex manual for couples
Offers a free Nurturing Marriage Ezine