I love Dr. Seuss. And not just because we have the same birthday :) When he says things, it has a way of making you think differently. My perspectives change and sometimes it results with a smack to the forehead like I should have known it all along, haha. Well this quote is one of those moments for me.
Appearances can be deceiving
A lot of times we look at a complex question and think that finding the answer is also complex. It’s like word problems in grade school math class– We can do it when we see numbers but a paragraph of words intimidates us when it’s really just asking the same question! The way we perceived it changed our mindset on approaching it. So I think it’s how things appear to us, that actually makes it complicated.
I applied this concept to marital situations and found that many times it is true. A stressful and consistent issue in marriage might seem complicated, especially when there’s a lot of trial and error that has occurred up to this point. It leaves us thinking: “Gosh this is so exhausting, I can’t figure out what to do” or even “I’m so exhausted from trying to understand you.” It’s because it appears and feels complex to us, as if there are so many factors we have to tackle first. I don’t know about you, but that would feel overwhelming to me! What if we looked at it more simply, though?
What I mean by this
Marriage can be complicated because life is complicated! We know this! But I believe that the solutions can be simple because we have basic marital guidelines that won’t lead us astray! A few of those guidelines could be: active listening, kindness, selflessness, honesty, understanding, and compromise. These are basics to having healthy relationships, yet we forget to use them! Selflessness is my number one guideline to follow, even though I’m not perfect at it. Making your partner a priority shows you care a lot, and it can decrease tension so quickly! When genuinely using any one of these, it may not solve every aspect of the complicated question at hand, but it becomes much more manageable.
There are times when I have looked at my marital tiffs from all angles, assessing the situation, asking more questions, just to try narrowing down what the problem is. (It’s the therapist in me, what can I say? haha.) Trevor often has to nudge me and say, “All I want and need from you right now is just a hug.” When I follow that request, our walls come down and communication is more open, and even humble. Comforting him was a simple thing for me to do, yet I overlooked it :) I think we all overlook those simple solutions at times!
When I have taken a more simple approach to problems in my marriage, I am able to tackle it better. I don’t feel hopelessness or as overwhelmed. When I notice myself trying to dissect the situation, I have to pinch myself and say, “Go back to the basics, Amy!” I hope that you’ll remember it too and try one of them out next time you come across what appears to be a complicated marital situation. :)