Differences: Opportunity or Deal Breaker?

By

Differences: Opportunity or Deal Breaker?
How have you handled differences in your relationships?

If you are in a relationship, do you get into conflicts over your differences? If you are not in a relationship, are you looking for someone just like you?

Annie asks:

 

"Since separating from my husband, I am working on myself, but I realize I still like and attract people similar to him. After eight years of marriage, our relationship came to an end. He is a person driven by intellect and I am more driven by feelings. He wanted me to be more intellectually and career-oriented, and I wanted him to be driven by family values and to be emotionally available. As I heal, does it mean I will attract different kinds of men, or will it just mean I will be better able to cope with differences?"

Differences are what add spice to life — provided that both people are OPEN TO LEARNING from the differences.

This is the key to seeing differences as opportunities rather than deal breakers. Let's take Annie's situation as an example. If Annie had been open to learning with her husband, she would have valued his intellect and career motivation, and would have been open to embracing more of these ways of being into herself. If her husband had been open to learning, he would have valued Annie's family values and emotional availability. He would have been motivated to examine his values and explore his blocks to emotional availability. Both would have learned and grown as a result of their differences.

So when Annie states that they separated due to these differences, I disagree. I believe they separated because one or both were not open to learning from the differences. The fact that Annie states that she still likes and attracts people similar to her husband further supports my belief that it was not the differences themselves that created the problem. Annie might continue to be attracted to men like her husband because she needs to learn and grow in the areas of developing her intellect and her career.

Annie is asking if she will attract different kinds of men as she heals, or if she will be better able to cope with the differences. As she becomes more emotionally available with herself due to her Inner Bonding practice, she might attract more emotionally available men. But they will still all have their differences, and unless Annie is open to learning with them and they are open to learning with her, there will still be what may seem like irreconcilable differences.

We all need to learn to accept differences, since they will always be there. The more Annie heals, the more she will be able to accept and value the differences, rather than end a relationship over them.

Annie, the differences between you and your husband are very common ones between men and women. Instead of separating over them, why not consider getting some help in learning from your differences? You might consider taking our "Loving Relationships" course with your husband. This might lead both of you into understanding the real issue between you — the intent to control rather than learn with each other.

The most important thing to find out about your potential partner is whether or not he or she is open to learning in conflict. This is why it takes time to get to know someone — it takes time to get into conflict. Conflicts and differences offer all of us wonderful opportunities to learn and grow – when we have an intent to learn about ourselves and each other.

Learn to manifest your dreams! Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Frequency: Your Spiritual Connection and The Art of Manifestation"

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Relationships Course: "Loving Relationships: A 30-Day at-Home Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul -
For people who are partnered and people who want to be partnered."

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her new 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week home study eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" – the first two weeks are free! ! Discover SelfQuest®, a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution computer program. Phone or Skype sessions with Dr. Margaret Paul.

Connect with Margaret on Facebook: Inner Bonding, and Facebook: SelfQuest.

This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission.

More on Relationship Advice For Women from YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

Scream If You're OVER Being Your Partner's Therapist

By

One of the important things I learned in my own marriage and in my work with clients is that a committed relationship is NOT supposed to be a therapeutic relationship. We can help each other to learn, grow and heal, but this is very different than a therapeutic relationship. In a marriage, or close committed relationship or friendship, we can help each ... Read more

The Essential Guide To Romance vs Friendship

By

James, in his mid-30s, was ready to meet his life partner, get married and have children. After dating many women, he met Cindy. "She is really beautiful, although I'm not sure she's my type. But I think she is perfect for me. We have the same interests, the same values, we go to the same church and we both want children. My friends who meet ... Read more

How Do You React to Another's Emotionally Irrational Behavior?

By

Ted's mother was often emotionally irrational. She would demand irrational things from him, such as telling him that it was his job to make her happy. She would cry and yell when he did anything for himself, claiming that he was selfish and making her miserable. Often, she would scream at him out of the blue, for seemingly no reason at all. Sometimes she ... Read more

See More

 
My Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular