Chances are good that you've wanted, at some point in time, to better your relationship. You might have struggled, however, with a good way to go about it. If your relationship is free of the obvious, major pitfalls, then what can you do to make improvements? The answer is so simple, it might surprise you.

Everyday Assumptions

If you're like most people, you probably make assumptions about other people on a daily basis. If a teller is rude or short with you at the bank, you might assume that he's just having a bad day and decide not to take it personally. If you tend to think in a different way, you might assume that the teller is a bad person or that you've annoyed him in some way.

Consider your reaction to each of these assumptions. In the first scenario, you might feel a bit sorry for the teller and silently wish him a better day. In the second and third scenarios, you may feel angry toward the teller for his bad attitude, or you might berate yourself, wondering what you could have possibly done to have annoyed him so quickly.

Isn't it amazing how our own assumptions about other people can affect how we feel? Just imagine how that translates into our more intimate relationships! More amazingly, think of how much you could better your relationship by simply adjusting your own assumptions. Suddenly, your partner's inattentiveness while you tell them about your day isn't simply a lack of concern. When you adjust your assumptions, you tune in to your partner more. Is he being inattentive because he's' had a bad day himself? Is he worried about something? Is he looking forward to seeing a movie later, and letting himself become distracted?

Replacing Assumptions with Questions

In order to better your relationship through your use, or disuse, of assumptions, you need to make one assumption most of the time. You know that your partner cares for you. Since you know this, why not assume that whatever he or she is doing is not coming from a place of disrespect or unloving feelings? Why not give them the benefit of the doubt?

Consider how you would feel if the situation was reversed. Imagine that you have a horrible day at work. Your boss yells at you, you have to work through lunch, and you're given a huge assignment with a short deadline just before you leave for the day.

You're going to arrive home in less than a great mood. If your partner assumes that your bad mood is related to them, an argument is sure to happen. However, if they assume that you love them and would not purposely treat them badly, they're more likely to react with love and concern. Which reaction would feel better to you?

It's easy to better your relationship through assumptions. All it takes is adopting one (almost)-universal assumption and asking questions instead of acting on negative assumptions. Once you put this into practice, the communication in your relationship, and the relationship itself, can only get better!

Author's Bio: 

Ashley Arn is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and provides Relationship Advice and Counseling to Professionals at http://crucialhabits.com. Check out her Free Relationship Advice and Tips, and get access to 25 Shocking Habits that could be Sabotaging Your Relationships. A Special Report for Professionals.