The All-or-Nothing Marriage by Eli J. Finkel

The All-or-Nothing Marriage by Eli J. Finkel

Author:Eli J. Finkel
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 2017-09-19T04:00:00+00:00

Being more intentional about our attributions gives us an opportunity to look with new eyes. Countless times over the course of a day, a year, or a marriage, we generate an explanation for why our partner enacted a given behavior. Perceiving our partner’s motives with precise accuracy has value, but doing so is virtually impossible, and the tendency to misperceive benign motivation as malignant can trigger an escalating cycle of conflict and negativity.

If we’re confident that our partner is, by and large, a decent person who wants to do well by us, there’s a strong argument that we should seek to make attributions that give him or her the benefit of the doubt. When the causes of a given behavior are ambiguous, we are likely to be happier, and our relationship stronger, if we assume that our partner has good intentions. One approach is to train ourselves to adopt an if-then rule like this: If I start feeling frustrated or angry about something my spouse did (or didn’t do), then I will take a few seconds to consider other explanations for his or her behavior.


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