Handling Disagreements

Aidy Thomas

Aidy Thomas

Aidy Thomas

Marriage/relationship is a life of decisions, even the very idea of who or when to marry is not sometimes easy. The process of making decisions that were already tough for one person now becomes tougher when there is a partner to share your views with. This is not so because your spouse has come into the relationship to confuse your life or cause pain but the introduction of another eye to a circumstance pushes it beyond your individual appreciation.

Differences beget disagreements and if we accept that we are truly different, we should expect disagreements as part of getting to know and live with each other. Honest disagreements are often a good sign of progress when handled with the motive to adjust and make the best choice.

There is no point feeling guilty each time you disagree with your spouse, this only shows that you have a different mind and eye. It is good to mention here too that disagreements don’t not mean ‘to insult’ but the process of presenting your opinion which may differ from your spouse’s view. Choosing your words while disagreeing is a test of true maturity as you don’t need to shout, call names or throw tantrums just because you think something should be done your own way.

Give credibility and respect to others’ opinion as you can’t know it all. Even when it doesn’t quite fit what you would have loved to hear, tell him/her “it’s a good suggestion but for the purpose of what we have at hand, can we look at it this other way?” Putting it across as a question sometimes makes the other person feel you are reasoning together and not taking it over. We are all individuals and would love things to be done our own way, the way we were thought through life.

What makes it even harder for some people to consider shifting grounds to accommodate the opinion of others is the fear of trying out new things. People dread change but in some cases, they’ll fight anything that looks different from what mummy or daddy told them.

Chelsea, a new bride went a-shopping with her husband and was looking for a particular type of pot to buy. After they’d gone round all the possible places but found none, her husband, tired and hungry, asked her to choose from the other available brands. She looked at them quite alright but didn’t register in her head as “pot,” so she declined. When her husband could not bear it any more, he asked what was so special about her preferred brand and all she could say was “that’s what mother uses.” The man could not contend the shock and that was the beginning of disagreements between them, but he managed it well. He asked her to go for the ones on display, but she refused again and when the guy saw how serious she was, he decided to apply wisdom: “Darling, why not buy just one of what we’ve seen today so we can at least cook dinner while you come back tomorrow and thoroughly look for your brand and buy as many as you wish?”

Amazing to hear is the fact that most of the things that cause disagreements in relationships are usually ‘small’ but escalate to big issues, leading to resentment or even split if not properly managed. Will it occur to anyone that something as little as tooth paste can injure a relationship?

Whether yours has to do with bad habits, he/she has refused to change or the way you are treated generally in the relationship (which can be very painful), always remember that there is no couple on earth yet who agrees on everything. Sometimes, as the relationship gets older, you just choose to overlook some issues but they are definitely still there—you probably would have noticed that talking about it all the time causes you more pain than the result you so much desire, so you choose to let sleeping dogs lie. There is no way you can get it 100 per cent from any human being or are you thinking of marrying an angel? Sorry, this might take you a lifetime because angels do not live physically on this planet and maybe this is why some people are still single.

I once met a man who was marking to his 50th birthday but still single, I mean he was never married nor had any child outside wedlock. When I asked why he kept so long, he lamented he has not found any woman he could live happily with. At a second thought, I felt he would have said he hasn’t found any woman he could buy over. Yes, some people think marriage should be a buy-over dash where the stronger person, man or woman, completely shuts the other person down. This happens principally in relationships where the one with a stronger financial muscle feels his/her partner should tremble at his or her very presence, but is this how it should be?

A buy-over partner does things he/she feels should be and only informs you later if he or she likes, expecting you to go along with the development. People who wouldn’t want others to oppose their opinions have real ego problems and would continue to cause pain to loved ones.

Open up to your mate, let him/her bring his or her feel on the issue at hand and who knows, it may turn out to be better than what one small head thought.

Disagreements make marriages spicy; how boring would it be if a man and wife always say ‘yes’ to every suggestion? Sooner than expected, someone would know there is something obviously wrong, either he or she is afraid to speak or playing a silly game of pretence to confuse the other and the relationship would later pay for it.

What to do:

For every disagreement, people are trying to put their opinions across and want to be heard/accepted. As long as they feel they have a potent point to make, it could be difficult to convince them or shoot them down. For harmony, it would be best to:

•Listen: Give an undivided attention to what they have to say.

•Reason: They feel right about their opinions, so why not check out what makes it so? They may be right after all and reasoning with them calms them down temporarily.

•Understand: Try to decode if emotion is attached to the issue at hand and address it first as everyone wants to be loved and accepted, once your spouse feels cared for, it is a lot easier to give in to your way.

•Compromise: The big deal is being able to adjust and accommodate your spouse in your decisions. Both of you should critically consider the issue and stick to the best position—find a common ground. On the other hand, it pays to know that you cannot always have your way in life, so take it easy when it happens.

•Show love: Let all things be done in love.

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