Save Your Relationship | Stop Mind Reading

Save Your Relationship Dr Nicole Martin

hink you know everything about your partner? You’ve been together for years. You can finish his sentences and answer for him.  Guess what? You are probably wrong!


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Dr. Nicole Martinez is a professional psychologist, who has studied, in depth, the topic of ‘mind reading’ in couples.  She discovered that couples did not become clairvoyant, regardless of how long they’ve been together.  Sorry, but when you tell your loved one that you know them better than they know themselves, chances are strong you are mistaken.  Individuals often believe they know how their partner thinks, feels, and acts, in every situation. As this article describes, that belief can be destructive to the relationship.


Mind Reading
Couples who’ve been together for awhile often feel as though they know everything about their partner; what they are thinking, what he or she will do, and what they’ll say.  The fact is our mind reading accuracy is 75-80% wrong! The odds are fairly slim that you’re in the 20-25% correct crowd.


Why Do We Think We’re Clairvoyant
We naturally use a past experience and apply it to every situation. Responses are going to alter based on the circumstances.  Let’s say you want to go on a hike with your husband.  He responds agitated, saying that he has way too much to do.  A few weeks later you want to go on a hike again.  This time, you ask a girlfriend because you ‘know’ your husband hates hikes.  His feelings are hurt that you chose to spend the day with a friend instead of him. He would have loved the opportunity to get out in the fresh outdoors with you. The difference in the two scenarios is the first time you asked him he was consumed by a significant project, and his boss was putting extreme pressure on him to get it completed. Unfortunately, he didn’t reflect this reality to you. Therefore, you concluded he didn’t enjoy hikes.  See how easy it is to misconstrue things? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, communication is key!


Many problems occur when we try to guess what our partner is thinking or feeling.  Number 1 – we’re wrong! Number 2 – it pisses our partner off. Number 3 – it doesn’t get us a positive or helpful response.


Do you notice yourself saying, “You always do this…” or “You always say this…” That is mind reading.  Every situation is different, so it’s important to give your partner the opportunity to express their opinion or thought.


How to Break This Habit
Instead of assuming you know the answer, ask questions. Make sure you also listen to their response without interrupting.  Stay open to what your partner is saying.


Obviously, we get to know our partner better the longer we are together.  This should be one of the joys of a long-term relationship. However, it’s important to realize everyone grows and changes through time.  How we think at one stage of our life may be different during a future period. The situation also dictates how we respond.  Be mindful to communicate and listen, respecting your loved one’s individuality and avoiding unnecessary problems.



Dr. Nikki Martinez received her Masters and her Doctorate from Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and completed her pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship at Gateway Foundation in Lake Villa, Illinois. She is a Professional Psychologist, an Adjunct Professor for 3 graduate programs, a Blogger for the Huffington Post, Everyday Power Blog, The Chicago Tribune, and various other publications. She also consults for Social Security Disability cases. Her specialities are couples, medical and chronic health issues, and substance abuse


Her therapeutic style can be described as integrative, assessing the needs and style that will best serve the individual client. She typically has a mix between Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy and various holistic approaches, including positive psychology. She believes in exploring the connection between the body and the mind to treat all the individuals’ needs. Her belief is that an individual must explore many areas of their functioning to ensure optimum health physically and emotionally. She is positively focused to help the client move forward in a productive way with their life, and past their current obstacles.


Areas of expertise: medical and health psychology, trauma and trauma focused CBT, depression, eating disorders, LGBT issues, anxiety, forensics, pain management, substance abuse, addictive issues, couples work, sexual issues, special needs populations, and chronic medical issues. Evaluation and assessment of the above mentioned individuals.



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