Can Curiosity Save A Marriage? - by Tori Bradford
Up until 18 months ago, the word curiosity annoyed me. My sister would say things like “Tori, have you gotten curious about why you think that way?”, or “Tori, let’s get curious about your love for eating cookies so late at night.” It was annoying...until I realized how awesome it was.
Since then, curiosity has been vital in my life as I experience transformation and freedom in various areas that had initially been sources of pain and bondage. Specifically, curiosity transformed my marriage.
After thirteen years of marriage, you think you know everything about the other person. You know exactly what they will do, when they will do it, and why they do it. You know they will leave their socks and underwear right NEXT TO the hamper regardless of how many times you ask them to put them IN the hamper. You know he’ll use a knife for peanut butter, then instead of washing it off, leave it on the edge of the sink, “in case he wants more,” leaving me with a crusty peanut butter knife to scrub after a long day of work. You know exactly why she gives you the cold shoulder or yells at the kids. You know that she’ll always snap at you if you show up even a minute later than you said you’d be home. Sound familiar?
When you look at life with your spouse in the above way it can feel a lot like bondage. In the simplest form, it leaves life with no “spark”, or “spontaneity”, but I believe it goes much deeper than that.
When you spend every day with the same person and don't leave any room for them to show up differently, you will relive the same day every day...like groundhog day. Everything stays the same. Even more, when you EXPECT them to show up the same way they always have you are actually GUIDING them along that same path!
You make true what you believe to be true. I "knew" that he didn't pursue me, and guess what? I didn't feel pursued. I "knew" he cared more about work than his family, and guess what? I found every action and statement that he made to support that idea.
It all changed about 8 months ago when I chose to commit to staying in a posture of curiosity with my husband, and I’m here to say…."WOW"...Everything has changed. The way we interact, the way I see him as a partner, the way I see him as a father, the way I see him as a person has all changed. He is a really amazing man and up until 8 months ago, I was choosing to only look at what I THOUGHT his actions and words meant.
If you expect your spouse to show up in the same way they always have, then they will show up in the same way they always have. When you create space for them to show up in a new way, they may actually surprise you and show up in a new way.
The fact is, you may not know what is actually going on for them. Have you gotten curious about why they are acting the way they are acting? Have you gotten curious about why your husband doesn’t get home from work on time? Have you gotten curious about what is actually causing your wife to act so stressed out? Have you gotten curious about what might be occurring for them under the surface?
A posture of curiosity has transformed a dull and uneventful relationship into a vibrant partnership...all by asking the questions and committing to getting curious about what we thought was the bad and the ugly.
What about you, friend? What's coming up for you?
Do you think you might be positioned on why your spouse does what they do?
Do you think you know what they will do, when they will do it, and why they will do it?
Are you willing to consider that you may not actually know the answers to those questions?
Are you willing to invite curiosity into your life?