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Reward Him by Seeing from His Perspective


Ron was whining again and I was running low on patience. I stared into my phone and waited for him to stop. It suddenly got quiet and I saw him staring at me with the "waiting for the answer" face. Crap! I'd missed the question.

"Ron, what do you want from me?"

He opened his mouth and said nothing as if he were trying not to curse me out. He probably was and I deserved it. I'd just checked out... not only for the conversation, but in general. I remembered being where he was in that moment and begging to be heard for the longest, but he just wouldn't. Now that I had nothing to say, he was the one that wanted to talk. Go figure. Resentment... that's the word for it. I felt like I'd snap out of it and get my head back into the game, but I wasn't sure how. He wasn't necessarily making it better by always questioning me about my schedule.


Terri clearly wasn't listening to anything I was saying and I was trying to do something nice for HER. She'd complained for years about me not giving her the attention she deserves, but when I tried, she wasn't even listening. She was always working and that put a strain on our QT. Most of the time, I didn't know when to schedule something because of her schedule. When I mentioned this, she'd label it as whining. I couldn't win! I opted to just stop talking about her schedule and ask her directly so I could plan something.

"When is the next time you're going to be free?"

She gave me a blank stare. Of course she wasn't listening.

"Ron, what do you want from me?"

She spat the question out like an exhausted mother to her child.

I had no words.

Ron and Terri's situation happens more often than not because sometimes we spend more time waiting for our turn to speak instead of listening for understanding. Terri missed an opportunity to mend a personal past hurt by engaging in quality time with her boyfriend. She dismissed his conversation as whining before she knew his intent. How many of us are guilty of being dismissive (intentionally and unintentionally)? Try not to get so wrapped up in how you feel that you don't take time to consider your partner's perspective. A shift in perspective can make or break a situation. Let's try listening and exploring a new point of view before getting annoyed or impatient with our significant others.

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