Have You Typecast Your Spouse?

julie-leavenworth-21One of the relationship habits that Dr. Joseph Melnick talks about The Us Factor is “characterizations”. Characterizing someone means “typecasting” them in a certain kind of role, and not allowing them to change. The example Dr. Melnick uses is how child actors are typecast as child actors, and it’s really hard for them to break out of that role. Once you see them a certain way, it’s hard to imagine them playing any other role. Bob Denver comes to mind to me (I know, I’m dating myself, but I’m sure some of you remember!) Once he had the role of Gilligan, it’s hard to see him in any other role, especially a serious one. He was typecast as Gilligan.

One of the things that we do as couples is typecast our husband or wife and not look at them as they are today. When was the last time you really looked at or heard your partner? That may sound silly, but I’ve noticed that unless I consciously make an effort to appreciate my wife, it’s easy to just go along, doing my daily things, and not really pay much attention to her.

Ecclesiastes 8:9

Recently, I was reading the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, and it struck me that this wasn’t the depressing, hopeless book that I thought it was in the past. I’d always kind of ignored it because I thought it was kind of a downer, really (sorry God!) However, as I read through it last month, I stumbled on the following verse:

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.

Now, I’m not exactly sure what this verse is supposed to mean, but the way I took it was just this: I’m to enjoy my wife, and my life, and to do to the best of my ability what God has given me to do. When I started thinking about it, I realized that I complain a lot, and don’t find joy in what God has given me. It helped me to start looking at Julie in a new way, in a way that I hadn’t seen her since we first met. I started noticing some things that attracted me to her that I’d been overlooking lately. Like her eyes – she has the most incredible eyes in the world, kind of a clear-gray-blue color that is absolutely breathtaking. Well, a few weeks ago I really took a close look at those eyes again, and thought “Wow! What a beautiful woman God has given me to share my life with!”

People Change

In the Us Factor, Dr. Melnick encourages us to realize that our partner is changing every day, and to not respond to your partner as they were 10 years ago – it’s not only wrong to do, it’s also inaccurate. People change. He encourages us to ask ourselves “How is my partner different today?” and notice what is different about them. Then, ask them questions about the things that you notice that are different. I think this is a great thing to try, and a good way to add some interest to your marriage again. Try it!

About the author: By

Matt is the parent (along with his wife Julie) to five wonderful kids. He has been self-employed for 25+ years and is the owner of the How To Fix My Marriage website.

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are a married couple that has had their share of challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this site have worked for us on our journey.

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