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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
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There Is A Solution

The illusion of relationships is that we will agree with our partner about everything and live in bliss all of our days. The reality is a bit different. Okay, radically different. Research on couples shows that most of our arguments are unresolvable, over 50%.

So, right now as you read this, you are either mightily relived to find out that you and your partner are incredibly normal, or devastated to learn the truth, or perhaps a bit of both. However, I will tell you the important piece to take away from this statistic. It is not that most couples do not agree on everything (if you have been in a relationship for more than a day, you really already know this), it is how to deal with this fact.

We need to treat our partners with respect. Always. When those differences come up, we need to be able to calmly discuss how our differences impact our relationship and find a compromise. If you are intent on changing your partner’s mind to get him or her to see the truth (which in reality is your point of view), then you will be sorely disappointed. You both need to accept that you will not agree on this topic, probably ever. Look to see if this topic actually causes an issue in the marriage or is it simply something that you can agree to disagree on. For instance, politics. It is not mandatory that you agree. However, you may have to agree not to discuss it. Ever.

For other things, you may need to find a way to compromise. An example may be what religion to raise the kids. You may send them to one religion’s Sunday school, but celebrate both’s holidays. There are many compromises that you can make. However, there are some issues that there are no compromises and are deal breakers. If one member of the couple wants children and the other doesn’t.

When you and your partner find one of the many things that you do not agree on, be sure to treat each other with respect, try to compromise or simply agree to disagree. An unresolvable argument does not necessarily mean the relationship has to dissolve.

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