Family Life - Stories
YOU SAY YOU LOVE ME - WHY DO YOU TREAT ME THE WAY YOU DO?
As Published in "Deaf-Light" By the Christian Record
John was a successful sales person. He worked for a large business. Often John's work required him to be out of town. Today John was out of town. He was planning to be home early. But John had an appointment with a new client at 4:00 p.m. He would be late for dinner. Cindy, John's wife, was excited about John's coming home early. She was planning a special meal for John. John called Cindy when she was cooking dinner. John said, "Cindy, I have a 4:00 p.m. meeting with a client. I will be a little late for dinner." Cindy was upset. She was making big plans for the night. Cindy said angrily, "OK, do not bother to hurry." John hung up the phone and thought quickly, "What is wrong with her?" Cindy's first thought was, "He does not want to come home. He is more interested in his business than in home."
When John arrived home, he expected dinner to be ready. But there was no meal waiting for him. John became angry and thought, "She does not love me. She does not want to prepare dinner." John and Cindy were both thinking, "You say you love me. Why do you treat me the way you do?"
Does this story remind you of your experience with your spouse or other people? Have you had negative thoughts the same as John and Cindy ? Many couples have the same problem as John and Cindy. Many times a person's first thought is negative. Often when things go wrong, a husband or a wife makes a quick judgment. Dr. Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, says, "Love is never enough." People need to notice and change the automatic bad thoughts they think. Many times the automatic thoughts are negative and harmful to a marriage. The automatic thoughts often give people wrong ideas about the real situation. The automatic thoughts can become a habit and often hurt a marriage relationship.
If Cindy had been careful, she would have changed her thinking to, "That was nice of John to call. He was thinking about me." If John had changed his first thought, he would have thought, "She is very disappointed because she was looking forward to my coming home early. She really loves me."
Changing our automatic thoughts is not easy. But changing our habit of thinking is very important to having a good relationship. Also, positive thinking will improve a marriage relationship.