When driving, we’ve probably all shared the experience of beginning to merge into another lane of traffic, only to be interrupted by a loud horn from another driver we were about to collide with. We weren’t intentionally trying to crash into the other car, of course. We just didn’t see it. We looked in our mirror, glanced quickly over our shoulder, didn’t see another vehicle and confidently began our lane change.
Hidden From View
Where did the other car come from? It was in our blind spot, the one specific location hidden from view. While in reality the other car was there all along, we believed it wasn’t and then we took action, not based on reality, but on our belief at that particular moment. In traffic, a friendly horn will often protect us from a costly mistake. In marriage, though, we have a tendency to frequently be both blind and deaf (and maybe even dumb from time to time).
The Warning Horn
Not only are there obvious blind spots in our relationship, we often miss the warning horn as well. Blind spots in marriage appear most often in the form of deep-rooted but unproductive habits. Since we’ve been reinforcing these patterns for so long, we have become consciously unaware of them.
Creating Blind Spots
Through repetition, we’ve gotten so used to thinking, speaking and responding in certain ways that we don’t even notice the obvious things we’re doing to weaken the relationship. This is how we create the so called blind spot, the weakness hidden from our view. One of the most common or “shared blind spots” is failing to make a distinction between the two phrases below:
“I can’t” & “I won’t”
Over time, it is common to blur these phrases into meaning the same thing.
Capability v. Willingness
Of course CAN’T refers to lacking the CAPABILTY to do something and WON’T refers to lacking the WILL to do something. We tend to build up all sorts of mental walls when we tell ourselves (or our mate) that we CAN’T when the real truth is that we WON’T. Using the word CAN’T is inherently disempowering anyway. As time passes, we can literally program our relationship for mediocrity by misusing that simple little four-letter word, CAN’T.
Release Your Joy
Gradually, you do begin to believe what you tell yourself, thereby constructing those limiting blind spots that cap your satisfaction, growth and joy as a couple. This week, I encourage you to redesign your attitude so you focus on what you CAN DO and even more importantly, what you WILL DO to go the extra mile in your relationship. You can make this week the best so far this year and you will…if you make it your goal!
What will you do?