Is Our Spouse Half-Empty or Half-Full?


A woman once told me that she loved the fact that her husband was a take-charge kinda guy, but hated that he was…well…a take charge kinda guy! I think what she was really trying to tell me was she both loved and hated aspects of that attribute. And if we examine almost everyone, including ourselves, we will probably find that there is a plus and minus side to almost all human characteristics. So many people love someone who is ‘laid back,’ but aren’t so fond of that trait when they want something done…right now! On the other hand someone who is intense really gets things done, which we love, but their intensity has a tendency to drive us crazy as they pick at everything.

The other day my wife told me that I ‘never’ put back my cologne to where I get it. I replied that she was wrong. I told her I probably put it back 80% of the time but she insisted that I was incorrect. When she showed me where it was supposed to be put, I realized that I was putting it back, close to, but not exactly to the spot it was previously at. I love so much that my wife is very particular about the order of the house and almost always has it in tip top shape, but her intensity on the matter sometimes causes me headaches. Later that day she called me on the phone laughing because it was clear that her definition of ‘putting something back in place’ wasn’t close to mine. On her part, she has learned to accept my excuse of ‘I’m a boy’ whenever we reach an impasse on some of these domestic chores. She lets me be half-full on this issue.

When it comes to our spouses, too often we focus on the half-empty side of the attribute. This, of course, creates conflict and unhappiness. The longer I am married the more I am discovering that I need to be looking at the half-full side of my spouse’s attributes. Why? Because that is the side I love and the side I need to embrace and encourage.

Surely all of us can be seen as half-full, or half-empty by our spouses. Nothing can be gained by looking for the empty half of our beloved, while looking for the full-side will encourage love, harmony, and devotion in our union. We have the choice!

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