In life, differences in opinion will always exist. Differences in our social-cultural background will always reveal this. When it comes to marriage, these differences are also experienced. Managing these differences therefore becomes a big deal for spouses. How well these are managed is largely dependent on the level of maturity of the parties involved. It is to this extent that this article is coming your way this week. Differences are really not deficiencies.
The following represent some out of many differences that generate issues among spouses.
“You are too aggressive when resolving issues and I am too soft”
“I am outgoing and you are reserved”
“You eat too much while I eat too little”
“You love sex too much while I am not as active as you”
“You spend too much money on what I termed as not very important while I feel I spend money on the very important things”
“You don’t comport yourself well in the public while I do”
“You lack manners and etiquette in the public while I am prim and proper”
“You are too slow in response when we have issues and I love for us to resolve it immediately”
“You do not show enough care and concern for the children, your business seems to be of a greater priority to you”
“You don’t like holding hands in the public and I look forward to it”
“You don’t pay attention to your outlook, and this gets to me every time”
One or more of the above may be applicable to you. Some, you might be able to reconcile, some to an extent, and others, you may not be able to agree on. Whichever applies to you, note that; Irreconcilable differences ought to be viewed from a positive and not from a negative perspective. Instead of seeing it as a problem, see it as a flavor in your relationship. The truth about life is that we see differently. How we see is largely a function of our training, association and social-cultural background. The issues that happen between husband and wife are to a large extent right in both instances. For example, one is previously used to taking a left turn to getting results while the other partner takes right turn to getting results. The issues begin the moment both parties failed to see harmonisation and adaptation as the way forward.
The analogy I usually give is to write number 6 on your palm or on paper. Looking at it displays 6 while if you turn the hand or papaer to face another person directly opposite you, it displays 9. It is obvious that both parties see correctly. Where the real work lies, is the ability to see from the partner’s viewpoint. We call this, empathy; the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
You need to have an understanding that you have different upbringing (family, culture, religion). If it seems there is no difference between you and your partner that gets at you, then you ought to check, one of you is not being sincere. The essence of the relationship is not for competition but for completion. You may notice that where you are strong is where your partner is weak and vice versa.
Understanding this will resolve a lot of conflicts before they show up.
1. Understand your spouse’s language and style best suited for them
2. Give a listening ear when your spouse is communicating and respond appropriately.
3. Choose your words carefully. Wrong use of words can stir up strife and erect barriers that can breakdown communication lines.
4. You should be sensitive to the tone of your voice and body language.
5. Don’t allow issues linger for too long before they are resolved.
6. Don’t withhold information and don’t exaggerate issues.
Applying this in your home will go a long way in the management of your opinion differences. Opinion differences are inevitable. They are meant to strengthen, not degenerate the bond of unity among spouses. In the event that you are finding it difficult to work through this steps, you can call or request for an appointment.
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