Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Only Seeing What We Want to See in Our Partner

The third filter is Beliefs and Expectations.  We may believe that someone means to hurt us if they raise their voice or we may have a belief that silence during an argument means the other person does not care.  Many times the partner who is persistent in seeking to resolve disagreements is viewed as “nagging” and the one who withdraws from conflict is labeled as “not caring”.  Research shows that we have an incredible propensity to see in others what we think we will see.  Furthermore, people tend to behave the way we expect them to, because we influence their behavior, not just our own.  Such negative interpretations can be very destructive when we expect the worst from each other.


Clear communication is experienced best through clean filters. Sometimes it takes professional help to assist in cleaning out and changing the filters in marriage.  

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