Does Anyone Understand Me?

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What steps can you and your spouse take to better communicate your feelings to one another?

Do you not yet understand?  Matthew 15:17

We often ask married people who really "knew" them as they were growing up. Very often the sad and tragic answer is that no one really got to know them well. Life went on and surface issues were dealt with, but no one really entered their world and got to know them. This is what understanding is all about. Each of us needs people we care about to understand us.

The power of marriage is that through divine understanding we can so "know" one another that God restores the loss we've suffered.

Even in today's Scripture passage, there seems to be a sadness in the Savior's heart as He asks, "Do you not yet understand?" One of the deep longings of His heart is that those He is talking to might have understanding. I (David) am sure Teresa has thought those same words, if not actually said them: "David, do you not yet understand me?"

In our journey to better understanding each other, Teresa and I have focused on several practical issues. In an effort to better understand what each of us finds important, we ask one another about opinions, ideas, and dreams. We care about feelings of all kinds—joy and hope, sadness and anxiety. We accept these feelings and don't judge them. We empathize with each other's feelings and don't analyze them. We explore childhood reflections.

This communication gives Teresa and me insight into our lives' "jour­neys." It also helps us understand some of our needs, and possibly some of our hurts. Finally, this allows us to accept weaknesses—to cut each other a little slack when it comes to imperfections.

This is what true understanding within a marriage looks and sounds like.

What steps can you and your spouse take to better communicate your feelings to one another?

Father, lead us into the depths of understanding each other.

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