I regularly come across couples deeply concerned about their disagreement on different issues. Both partners have been making attempts to resolve their ‘disputes’ and getting increasingly distressed as it’s not going anywhere. The person they love is not seeing the situation the way they are, and this makes them feel like their partner doesn’t care for them, respect or even love them. How true is that?
We seek connection with our loved ones and being in agreement is a huge indicator that we are secure in our relationship. We get drawn to people who are similar to us and have shared interests, usually. It can be challenging to experience your partner holding a different or maybe even an opposing perspective. More so when they once agreed with you on that very issue. Does this mean they don’t love you?
It can feel scary because our relationship template may indicate this as a red flag. There is more to the story. Within these seeming differences there could be several underlying similarities in values and priorities that are being expressed differently. There’s potential for immense growth in relationships; they challenge us and change us in several ways. We grow in relationships and because of them, sometimes more, sometimes less. It’s a natural relational course. So, what can we do?
This is the uncomfortable part; we can choose what works for us, whether we embrace growth or retreat into our zone of comfort. Neither is right or wrong, it’s a matter of choice. But if we choose to work through differences in beliefs, it requires being uncomfortable and not rushing to make ourselves feel better. If our partner has a different expression of their need, we can use curiosity to know how that works for them. This requires consciously making an effort to create space for differences and disagreements within our relationships with respect and kindness.
Reach out if you and your partner want to know more.