Building Healthy Marriage: Reactor vs. Respond (Part 1 of 4)

As you know, we live in a society that loves information. Each day we can search and find various news articles from the world of sports, business, politics, entertainment and so forth. Any topic you like, you can search the web or your national and local newspaper to read about your topic of interest.

The goal of the author who writes these topics is to create a shock or react response from you. They are wanting to stir up information and any type of feeling that produces inside of you. Many times, they are seeking the ‘shock’ affect. The more you have a shock affect, the more likely you will react, or engage, or want to pass this information on to someone else.

So in thinking about your marriage, do you react or respond to your spouse? I doubt your spouse shares information with you to produce a strong reaction inside of you. But when your spouse talks or shares information with you, how do you hear it? Are you a reactor or do you respond? Maybe in your reaction you are wanting to judge your spouse. Your reaction may come from a place in wanting to criticize or correct them? Your reaction could sound something like this: “Why did you do that? How did you let this happen? I told you not to do this, so why did you do this?”

If you can identify yourself are a reactor to your spouse, maybe you need to think about why you are a reactor? Examine yourself and ask: Why do I react so quickly? How do I feel about how I react? Is my reaction working and bringing about the desired results I was looking for? Are my reactions resulting in a close relationship with my spouse? Are my reactions building trust in this marriage?

I challenge you to reflect and think about how you hear what your spouse is saying. If you find you are a reactor, I would invite you to think if this is working. You may feel good in how you respond but your spouse may feel hurt in how you react. To hear and not listen, means you are hearing information for the sake of you justifying how you react.