Have you ever had a fight with your spouse that feels like a wrestling match? Only there is no referee to stop you from repeating the same argument over and over again.
You can’t believe you are still fighting about the same thing for the hundredth time. If only you could get your knuckle-head spouse to understand your point. Maybe if you say it in a different way or with a new example. Nope, it’s still the same darn argument.
It becomes a race to see who can shift the blame off themselves and onto the other one. Soon you have forgotten what you’re fighting about.
All you can think about is how to get out of this argument. Aren’t we supposed to compromise or something? But all you hear is the way your spouse is talking to you. Where’s that referee when we need one?
Here I am. While I’m not in your living room with you, I can loan you my perspective on dealing with relationship conflict. You don’t have to compromise on love when you disagree!
3 Steps to Turning Conflict into Compromise:
Compromise is a possible solution to calling a truce in couple’s arguments. It doesn’t work well when you feel like you are pressured or arm wrestled to give in. You both have to be okay with the final solution.
Step 1 = Identify what you don’t agree on. (This is the easy part!)
Step 2 = Identify what you do agree on. (This may be harder to see at first glance, but you can find a common goal.)
Step 3 = Identify what you can both live with. (What are you each willing to give up to reach a common goal?)
Does this help you end the argument without stuffing it under the rug for another day? If not, you’ve found an argument where you both have very different positions.
2 Ways to Agree to Disagree with Love and Respect:
Are you done having this argument again and again? If you are ready to stop the arm wrestling tournament, then you need to know that you can be your own referee. I’m putting these strategies for agreeing to disagree (with love) in your hands:
1. Mark Your Territory: This works great for household maintenance. Decide what tasks you want to be in charge of, and stay out of other’s territories. When you question, critique, or remind your loved one to take care of their territory, you are stepping on your loved ones toes. Ouch!
2. Be Responsible for Your Choices: When you make a choice that your spouse doesn’t agree with, be willing to take responsibility for any consequences that come because of the choice. Love and respect your spouse through his (or her) choices.
Respect upholds love, while stepping on your loved one’s territory or choices, just hurts and repels love. If you can find a solution you can both live with, then do it. But if compromise doesn’t work, then learn to respect each other even if you disagree.
Turn your differences into an opportunity to not just stand your ground, but also respect the one you decided to spend the rest of your life with!
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Photo Credit: “Referee” by Avinash Kunnath