Episode 57: The One Belief That Will Ruin Any Relationship

by | Last updated: Jan 19, 2024 | Podcast

You know how each person can see something different when looking at the same piece of art? Perspective is the same way.

Your perspective is uniquely yours, and it’s built through belief which is shaped in the first few years of your life by multiple things like your environment and the people in it. In that way, your beliefs are also like art, bringing together multiple elements to create the big picture that is you. But, if you’re not careful, some beliefs you hold can play a part in destroying any relationship you have.

In this episode of The Loving Truth podcast, you’ll hear about the one belief you might have that can ruin almost any relationship. You’ll learn a simple thing you can do to become a little more conscious in all of your relationships and discover how this subtle shift can improve your marriage.

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

00:25 – The lost art that’s affecting your relationships

2:49 – A couple of reasons why you argue with others over perspective

4:30 – The problem with the concept of right versus wrong

6:37 – The benefits of looking at things in your relationships through the lens of perspective

8:57 – What happens when you’re simply curious about your partner’s perspective

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Welcome to The Loving Truth Podcast where it's all about finding clarity, confidence, and peace in the face of marriage challenges. And now your host, relationship expert, and certified master life coach, Sharon Pope.

Sharon Pope: Hello, loves. This is Sharon Pope and this is The Loving Truth. Today I want to talk to you about the one belief that can ruin almost any relationship. Let's begin with you pretending that you're going to put on a pair of eyeglasses.

Embedded in the lens of those eyeglasses is your unique prescription and nobody else on the planet has your unique prescription because what's embedded in that lens is the sum total of all of your life experiences and nobody on the planet has had your exact life experiences.

Embedded in that prescription are all of your thoughts, your beliefs, your judgments, your opinions, and those big experiences that shaped who you are as a person. The lens that you look out into the world with is going to color how you see it.

Different people can be looking out the exact same window and one person is going to see the trees, another person's going to see the clouds, another person is going to see the cars rushing by, another person is going to be completely oblivious to all of it. It's just zoned out and doesn't see anything.

Everyone looks out into the world and experiences the world very, very differently because of that lens through which they see things. Now inside of our marriages, we expect our partners to be able to see and agree with our perspective. We don't give our partners the same grace that we do the rest of the world.

I bet when I was explaining that lens, you're like, “Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. I get that.” But when it comes to how we parent our children, or what we're going to do over the holidays, are we going to go to my family’s or your family’s, or whether or not we should set up a date night every week? Whatever it is, we absolutely expect our partners to, at minimum, understand our perspective, but more often than not, we want them to agree with us as well.

Here's the thing, I feel like we have lost the art of being able to understand someone's experience without actually agreeing with it. We end up arguing with our partner because they don't agree with our perspective.

Now, sometimes we're actually arguing because we're trying to get them to agree with our perspective, but that's not terribly helpful. It doesn't often work, does it? If someone is yelling at you and telling you you're wrong and emotions are heightened, are you likely to just go, “Oh, you know what, you're right. You're right, let's just do it your way,” or are you more likely to dig in, defend yourself, and defend your perspective?

Most of us are more likely to defend our perspective as being the right one because we wouldn't hold that perspective if we didn't actually think it was the right perspective to hold. Make sense?

Sometimes we're arguing because we don't agree, and we're trying to get the other person to agree with us. Like I said, not terribly effective, but many times we're not actually arguing about the perspectives that we have. We're not arguing about the way in which each of us sees things.

What we're arguing about is because we feel hurt because we don't feel heard and understood by the one person on the planet that we most want to feel heard and understood by.

The other reason is because many times, our perspectives are so obvious to us that we don't understand why other people, our partners namely, don't see it the way that we see it. It's so obvious, how come you don't see it as clearly as I see it? That's because they have a different lens. Those are the reasons that we get tripped up.

Now I want to talk about this concept of right versus wrong because this one little thing can go a long way. Now, what creates your version of what's right and what's wrong in your life, in the world, whatever? It's your beliefs. Where did your beliefs come from? For most of us, they came from our childhood, all of which was before the age of age seven is where a lot of our beliefs were rooted within us.

It isn't until we hit age seven that our brains are able to start questioning some of the things that we've been taught or fed over the years. Of course, our beliefs originate from our family of origin, but they also come from our culture in our society and the expectations that other people have of us. It comes from religion, it comes from the environment that we grew up in, the school that we went to, the teachers that we had.

Who we grew up with, who we grew up around, all of those things are what create the beliefs that we have. Those beliefs are what dictate, in our minds, what is right and what is wrong.

Here's the problem, though. Right and wrong is very subjective. Because just like no one else on the planet has the exact same lens that you do, no one else is going to have the exact same opinions about what is right and what is wrong as you do. I mean, think about it. We could go out and you can name any topic, and we could go ask someone about that topic. It wouldn't be hard to find someone that has a very different opinion on whatever topic it is than you hold.

It's not that hard to find those people. There are plenty of people that see the world very differently than you do, including sometimes our partners. But when we can realize, and I'm just going to call these instead of like this is right and this is wrong because what's right to you might be wrong to someone else and what's wrong to you might be really ideal for someone else, I'm going to call these perspectives instead of this is right and this is wrong. Those are absolutes.

Those are binary choices that we can make and our brains love binary choices because they're very polarizing. They're easy to understand and wrap our minds around but I always say that health resides in the gray.

I want you to start thinking of these things as just your perspectives. You have a perspective about how to raise your children. You have a perspective about whether or not you should have a date night and whether it should be Tuesday, Sunday, or Thursdays. You have a perspective about how your partner should be, what they should do, what they shouldn't do, how the two of you should be engaging. You have lots of perspectives.

When you start to just look at them as perspectives, then you can hold them with a little bit more gentleness, a little bit more levity, and we don't get so tied down to my way is the right way or my perspective is the right perspective. Then that leaves room for someone else who doesn't see the world exactly as you do to be in relationship with you, to be in a healthy, productive, loving relationship with you.

When you can start to just see things as a simple perspective, then things can shift. This is important for all of your relationships. Because I know I have a lot of family members and people who I love who see the world very differently than I do. But if you only can love people who see the world exactly as you do, that list of people you're going to be able to love is going to get very narrow very quickly.

There are a lot of people that I just want to love and they don't see the world as I do. That has to be okay. Otherwise, I'm going to shrink my world dramatically. Start to think about it like that and give each other in your marriage a little bit of grace to just have different perspectives.

Here's what I can tell you, when you start to just get curious about your partner's perspective as opposed to needing to be right or arguing so that they can hear your perspective, then you're going to be able to have a much better, more open, more loving, more compassionate, more generous relationship with one another.

It can change everything when you just get curious about “Huh, I wonder why my partner sees it the way they do. There must be some reason they see this differently than I do. Let me see if I can just get out of my own head for a second and really understand where they're coming from.”

I bet if you try to do that you will see, “Oh, I could see how they would see this circumstance the way that they do. Given their upbringing, given their values, given the culture and society that they were raised in and around, I could see how they see it the way that they do.” Now you have something to work with.

By the way, when you're able to really understand your partner, they feel heard, and understood by you, do you think that they are more or less open to now hearing your perspective? Yep, they're way more open.

When you are willing to just be curious and be understanding and seek that understanding as opposed to needing to be right or forcing your opinion as the only way that it should be, I promise you, this is a small subtle thing that every single person on the planet could do if we would just become a little bit more conscious, that everyone holds perspectives, and that's all they are. They're just simple perspectives.

When we can be curious about it, we can hold it very gently, very lightly, and then we are easier to be in relationship with. I hope that was helpful. Until next time, take really good care.

Love, if you're questioning whether you can recover the feelings you've lost for your spouse and you're serious about putting an end to feeling stuck, lost, and alone, I've written a book just for you. It's called “Stay or Go? How to Find Confidence and Clarity So You Can Fix Your Marriage or Move Forward Without Regret.”

The approach I share in this best-selling book has already worked for thousands of women struggling in lonely disconnected marriages and I'm confident that it will work for you too. If you don't want to spend another day stuck in indecision, go to sharonpopebook.com to get your copy of “Stay or Go?” now.

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