When we experience contention and misunderstandings in our relationships, we may feel that our spouse is our enemy. Even though two people experience the same event, they may have totally different experiences. Your perspective and beliefs are the sum of your past and are often skewed and not based on truth.

The following story will illustrate how the negative opposition – or Satan, the enemy to your healthy, happy relationships – can use a strategy of misinterpretation to deceive you. He may cause you to think that your spouse is the real enemy.

War Story

A US army troop was engaged in war on a strategically located island. Both armies were battling to take possession of this island. Whoever had control of this island gained a huge advantage in the overall outcome of the war.

Reinforcements were dropped off on the beach, and one of these new troops had no idea where they were supposed to meet comrades that were already there fighting. The captain told the communication specialist to get on the radio and try to find out where they were supposed to go.

In all the chaos with planes flying overhead, bombs going off, and trails of smoke, it was critical for the troop to find their allies. The radio operator searched some channels, found a little white noise, and then successfully connected up with someone speaking in a Texan accent.

“Oh, great!” thought the radio operator, “There is nothing more American than a Texan accent.”

He proceeded to explain that their troop had just arrived and was on the beach awaiting directions to meet up with other American troops. The voice on the other side of the radio explained, “Head to that little mountain on your left and take about a day’s hike. On the other side to the east is where our camp is based. We look forward to your arrival ya’ll!”

The troop headed off towards the mountain, hiked through the jungle and over the ridge and arrived in a valley by the next morning. When they reached the exact coordinates that they were told to rendezvous at, they were looking down the barrels of the enemy’s guns!

An enemy soldier in a cowboy hat steps forward. The enemy had taken over the camp, took some prisoners, and killed the American radio operator whom the now captured troop thought they had been talking to. The enemy had used their trained communication specialist who took English classes from a television show based out of Dallas, Texas. That is why his English had a Texan accent.

The point of this story…

is that we have voices in our heads. That doesn’t mean you’re crazy! A healthy mind mainly has 3 voices, and you cannot trust all of them because one of them is from the adversary’s influence. You can’t trust every thought because every thought that goes through your mind is in your own voice. It seems like YOU are thinking it, and it seems like YOU are producing that thought.

This is not true in every instance. There are negative influences outside of you delivering messages about you, about your marriage, about your wife or husband that are not true. You need to learn to recognize when those false messages are being delivered by the enemy just like the American troop in the army story. When you believe the enemy’s lies, you are sure to experience pain and suffering.

This strategy from the adversary makes communication difficult as illustrated by a communication anomaly or glitch called “She says/He hears and He says/She hears.”

This anomaly of different interpretations may show up in a similar manner to the following examples.

· Spouse #1 says, “Did you see the neighbors have a new car?”

· Spouse #2 hears, “Why can’t you earn more money?”

· Spouse #1 says, “The kids’ toys are all over the house again.”

· Spouse #2 hears, “Why can’t you help around the house better?”

· Spouse #1 says, “I think we need to have a talk.”

· Spouse #2 hears, “Oh, great! A lecture and complaining session coming right up!”

We all hear interpretations –

You attach meaning to everything your spouse says or does. If your interpretation is causing contention or pain of some kind, challenge your understanding of the matter and whether the thoughts you are having are influenced by the adversary.

Instead of accepting an interpretation that can potentially cause conflict, we can simply say, “I’m sorry, honey, I just heard you say ‘this’ to me. Is that what you meant?”

This will open up communication to find out what the real message was meant to be. This skill can be learned with repetitive practice. Sometimes we can discover the right interpretation on our own. Other times we need to consider that vulnerable yet potentially rewarding choice to open up the conversation with our spouse and FIRE THE NEGATIVE INTERPRETER!

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