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I’m right and you’re wrong-Is Conflict Ruining Your Relationship?

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Love

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?’

If you’re like many people, when you think you are right and your partner is wrong - you may not actually say the words, ‘You’re wrong!” - but your gestures and tone of voice may be clear as day. How might you handle this differently? Why would you want to?


Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?’ There is a lot of wisdom in this saying. The more you think your partner is wrong, the more you tell your partner they’re wrong or use related gestures or tone of voice, the more you damage your relationship and decrease the chances of connection, respect, trust and intimacy. Doesn’t sound so good, does it?

One of the most important things to do to help keep a healthy relationship is to ‘turn toward’ your partner, especially when you don’t want to. What does ‘turn toward’ mean?

Think now to a time when you were sure you were right and your partner was not. Did you turn towards your partner? Were you open to where they were coming from or curious about what was important to them? Or…did you have your feet firmly planted in a bit of self-righteousness? Did you feel your blood churning, your defenses rising and a deep desire to ‘prove’ that you were right and they were wrong?

I’m not sure where in ‘the’ relationship manual it is written “be sure you always prove you are right!” I don’t think that’s recommended anywhere. So where do we learn it?

Have you ever watched two people (your parents, friends’ parents, a couple you know, or even a couple you don’t know) get into a disagreement? What happens? Often, no matter who it is, there are similarities that sound something like this:
1. A choice comes up or a decision needs to be made
2. Person A has an idea (thinks his/her way is the right way)
3. Person B has an idea (thinks his/her way is the right way)
4. Person A shares their idea
5. Person B disagrees and shares their idea
6. Person A disagrees and more strongly shares their idea and starts giving reasons why they are right
7. Person B disagrees and more strongly shares their idea and starts giving reasons why they are right
8. Voices get louder and the tone changes
9. The energy of each person is ‘turning away’ from each other
10. From this point, a variety of things might happen, such as:

a) Anger escalates and shouting with the same opinions (with maybe a slight variety) goes back and forth or
b) One person walks away or
c) One person gives in or
Silence happens and nobody gives in and nothing positively productive happens
Can you feel in your body what it feels like (even just reading this) to have this type of dialogue in a relationship? You may have experienced this feeling before.

There will be disagreements in every relationship; interactions like this hurt relationships. If you are interested in learning how to ‘turn toward’ (re: nurture your relationship) during a disagreement, then keep reading.

You probably recognize that that above-mentioned ways of dealing with disagreements is very common in our society and you know that it is not helping to nurture your relationship/s.

Let’s try it again.
dis·a·gree·ment (ds-grmnt)
n.
1. A failure or refusal to agree.
2. A disparity; an inconsistency.
3.a. A conflict or difference of opinion.
b. A quarrel.

Two people get in to a disagreement. What else could happen?

1. A choice comes up
2. Person A has an idea (thinks his/her way is the right way)
3. Person B has an idea (thinks his/her way is the right way)
4. Person A shares their idea
5. Person B says they have a different idea and shares it
6. Person A disagrees and more strongly shares their idea and starts giving reasons why they are right
7. Person B (all it takes is one person!) realizes that if they engage the kind of disagreement they’ve experienced in the past, they will potentially be hurting the relationship and decides to proceed differently.
8. Person B says to Person A, “will you tell me why that is important to you, or why that is meaningful to you?” (tone of voice is very important here)
9. Person A responds (most likely does not react, which encourages connection)
10. Person B reflects back what he heard Person A say and then asks Person A if they would be willing to do the same for them
11. Person A (if they felt heard and understood) will most likely say yes
12. Person B shares with person A what is important and meaningful to them
13. Person A reflects back
14. From this point, if there feels like a caring on both parts (as opposed to arguing and trying to prove how right you are), then the question can be asked (lets say from Person B): How do you think we can make this work best while taking into consideration what matters to both of us?

This is how a disagreement can happen (and they do!) and still have a couple ‘turn towards’ each other and manage their conflict in ways that support and encourage their relationship.

Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be in a happy, healthy relationship? I know what I prefer!

 

Cathy Hartman aka ‘The Love Lady’ is passionate about helping Couples create more joyful, passionate and no-blame relationships. She also enjoys showing single, heart-centered women entrepreneurs and professionals how to create relationships that are not only successful, but that are in alignment with their heart's passion and life purpose. Her own experiences of building and sustaining a truly amazing marriage and a very successful business has shown her that it was as much about the beliefs she had about herself as it was about her skills and talents for creating and sustaining connection, growth and intimacy. By coaching with simple, effective tools to create positive and lasting change, Cathy helps couples and single women become absolutely clear and committed to what is important to them in relationship so they can create the life that they love with the love of their life. http://www.heartfulconnection.com
 

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