Never Assume? Hogwash!
Let's kick off this brand new year with a comment on the most frequent objection to my advice to Assume Love from your spouse or life partner.
Assume Love triggers a warning phrase we've heard many times: never assume. And why does it trigger it so easily in so many of us? Because our default assumption as humans is that at any moment, we may be in danger. We take warnings to heart. They protect us. They support our default assumption.
If you live in a jungle filled with dangerous wildlife, in a nation engaged in civil or genocidal war, or in a place where hurricanes or earthquakes hit many times each year, a default assumption of threat is a life-saving assumption.
If means what you do, instantly, at the first sign of real danger is to look around you for more signs, so you can decide what to do. If you live a dangerous life, never assume means never assume you are safe without testing that assumption. Act on threat of danger, investigate anything that looks like safety.
Don't assume one dead lion means no more lions; keep looking for tracks and scat. Don't assume a frozen river is safe to use as an escape from gunfire; test how much weight it can hold before you need it. Keep testing any optimistic signs against what's more likely, that you are still in danger.
However, if you choose a worthy partner who vows to love and protect you, and it's just the two of you, change the assumption. Act confidently and immediately on signs of love, charity, and respect. Take your time before responding to what look like signs of unfairness, rejection, or selfishness, in case you have overlooked the loving reason for them.
It is OK to Assume Love when someone chooses you and pledges to love you. Sure, some people turn out to be evil, preying on the person they choose. You will not need to keep score, weigh the good against the bad, to spot them. In fact, you will spot them faster when you look for the love in their unfairness, rejection, or selfishness instead. They may be good at faking love, but the love will not be there in their bad acts. And when you see it's not there, the manipulation behind the rest will be a lot more obvious, freeing you to leave.
If you are with one of the good guys, and they far outnumber the bad guys, when you Assume Love, you don't put yourself in danger. Instead, you enjoy a lot more love, a lot more kindness, and a lot more respect.