Vantage Points in Marriage

Vantage points AdobeStock_695866877-scaled-jpegHave you ever considered your different vantage points as a husband and wife? One sees things one way and the other sees things another. It’s called vantage points. For many different reasons we don’t see things the same way.

We just went through this issue last night. I (Cindy) saw the source of our tensions coming from something completely different than Steve did. We tried to sort it out, but it just confused things even more until we acknowledged that our vantage points didn’t match. It eventually became apparent that the best thing for us to do was to leave it alone, give each other grace, and move on. It wasn’t that important anyway; and it wasn’t worth it to keep going over it again and again. Sometimes it’s just best to release our hold over making our point and move along to make peace.

It’s not always best to do that if it’s a marriage killing matter, and yet, it is at other times.

But just the fact that we acknowledged our different vantage points helped us a lot. As a matter of fact, there was a movie that came out several years ago where this is illustrated. In this movie, “the attempted assassination of an American President is shown over and over from different vantage points. It showed how each person saw the same thing, yet formed different responses based on their view.”

Can you see how this can happen in marriage? We do, and so does Debi Walter (from The Romantic Vineyard ministry). She wrote a blog about this matter several years ago, and in it, she pointed to the movie and then made the following related points as it concerns the marriage relationship. She wrote:

Vantage Points

I found the movie [“Vantage Points”] fascinating. It was also quite helpful for encouraging strong marriages. How, you might ask? I believe it helps to see how people can be witnesses to the exact same event. But they see it in a different way forming a completely different conclusion as to what happened.

It helps in realizing how often we judge others. This includes our spouse, based on our vantage point, not taking into consideration the way they see it and why. And it helps to know that our spouse may see parts of the situation that we are blind to, thus providing needed protection from unseen dangers.

Take social media and marriage

Imagine one spouse is very ‘connected’ to friends of the opposite sex that the other spouse doesn’t know. It could be a former co-worker, or it could be an old high-school friend. It could be someone they’ve met on-line in an innocent way.  Yet when your spouse finds out about your chatting/texting/IMing, they get upset. It would be easy to disregard their concern labeling them as jealous, over-protective, untrusting, etc.

But have you considered their vantage point? Seeing you talking in a familiar way with someone they don’t know should be cause for concern. It’s not because you are being unfaithful. Instead, it’s because in doing so you are cracking a door open that should stay tightly shut.

Tom and I have a rule that we have tried to abide by for most of our marriage. We don’t do anything alone with a member of the opposite sex. Tom says he wants to “avoid the appearance of evil”, even if it is completely legit. Becoming too close, too familiar with someone else is not healthy for any marriage.

Those who have had an adulterous affair, whether physical or emotional, will tell you that they never intended to have one. They’ll often say, “It just happened.” Well, that’s their vantage point. But it isn’t an honest one. If we could replay the tape from another vantage point, we would see where the door was cracked open long before the affair ever took place. They let their guard down and may have ignored the warning signs from their close friends or spouse.

Heed Warning Signs from Different Vantage Points

God intends for the partnership between a husband and wife to be one where warning signs are heeded, not ignored.

So, if your spouse has communicated concern about how you’re relating to someone of the opposite sex, we encourage to listen to their vantage points. It might just prevent the assassination of your marriage! Or if you’re the one who is making assumptions about what your spouse is doing or not doing, take time to let them explain it from their vantage point. It may bring resolution, helping you see there is no need to be concerned.

That can be SO TRUE! Thank you, Debi!

To Add to This Point

We want to close this Insight with an illustration/quote and then most importantly, a scripture. We’re hoping you will prayerfully consider it all as it pertains to our vantage points in marriage. First, the quote:

“I recently took my 4-year-old daughter to the zoo. She stood up real close to the glass where the smaller animals live. She complained she couldn’t see many animals from that position. I explained that in order to be able to see the majority of the animals in any enclosed area she needs to stand further back. She simply didn’t get that in order to see a fuller picture she needed to take a step back to gain more perspective. She was thrilled to learn this very simple principle.

When I work with couples, they often find it difficult to acknowledge what their real challenge is because they are so enmeshed with what they are dealing with. They are standing too close to the vantage point where they can’t see the bigger picture. They can see their own perspective, but they find it so difficult to recognize their impact on their partner.” (Micki Lavin Pell, from her article, “How Seeing Things from Your Partner’s Perspective Can Boost Your Love”)

Can you see how this can affect the stuff we need to get through that comes up in our marriage relationship?

More Importantly

Here’s a scripture that brings all of this into clearer focus. It’s important at times to “empty” yourself as Christ Jesus did and look, listen, and try to understand our spouse’s vantage point. In Philippians 2:3-5 we’re told:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

We pray you and we will!

Cindy and Steve Wright


To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:

7 Essentials - Marriage book


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