You Don’t Have to Agree With Me

Today, I am sharing thoughts on marriage. Having been married for just a little over three years, I feel like being such an authority on married life already. NOT!

I believe that our relationship, like all others, require constant work. But, it doesn’t have to be a tiring and tedious ride. Though we are still new at this marriage gig, we have been partners now for a good 18 years. Throughout our journey together, and in observing family and friends, and watching so much TV, surely we’ve learned a few lessons, right?

Sometimes, I like to reflect on these lessons and talk to the husband about them. Here’s one of those lessons.

Don’t expect to agree on EVERYTHING. It’s just never going to happen.

Very early in our relationship as boyfriend-girlfriend, I realized that despite our similarities, and no matter how we make an effort to align our goals with each other’s – we are essentially two very distinct individuals.

Before I move on, I acknowledge that there are core values that are non-negotiables. And that it is important to agree on your #couplegoals – after all, you both have to be going in the same direction. This isn’t about that.

No Magic Pill

Saying I do, moving in together, or switching your Facebook profile to In a Relationship. None of these is a magic pill that allows you to suddenly agree easily on every choice or decision you have to make. Things won’t automatically line up the way the Sort button on an Excel file does.

It would be nice to find a partner who sees everything the same way you do. But not everyone will find one. Liking the same things or having the same values and opinions on just about every issue isn’t what’s important. I believe that what matters is how much value we place on our partner’s preferences and opinions.

It matters more that we are able to set aside our own biases – even for just a short time – to hear our partner out. We can go on to argue our point, but always, the end goal is to understand the other side better. Personally, I don’t always seek to convert the husband to cross over to my side – but I’d like to know that he listened to me and sincerely considered my point.

Tips on how to deal with your differences:

  1. Be respectful while explaining yourself.
  2. Empathize.
  3. Listen to understand.

And always, keep your arguments on point. It is not about YOU and how you feel about each other, it’s about the issue at hand.

The hubby and I don’t share the same world view. I tend to see things in a more positive light, and approach social issues with respect to the many structures and layers involved. I support actions that are long-term and truly address the root cause. He tends to have a darker, more sinister view. He leans towards practical, short-term, and quick solutions. So yes, we disagree on more than just where to eat, but I find that recognizing our differences, saves us from being hurtful towards each other.

Finally, 8 of 100.