Sometimes, a couple can not agree on certain issues, such as how to spend money, education of children, etc. When a solution is not found and each member of the couple tries to get away with it, they can start to have frequent discussions that create a feeling of discomfort that ends up affecting the good health of the relationship.
To handle these disagreements and find solutions there are several things you can do:
Be clear about the needs of each one.
Some people see the problem only from their point of view and do not really know what their partner is defending or why, or what needs to be covered when adopting that position. For example, your point of view could be this: “I want to save money to buy new furniture that improves the appearance of the house and feel better in it, while my partner only thinks of wasting money on going out to have fun.”
And your partner’s point of view could be this: “I think the money is to enjoy life and spend it on nice things and that the house is fine as it is, but my partner only thinks about saving continuously and thus is not enjoyed of the life”. With this they are demonstrating that neither of them knows or understands completely what the other wants or what are the needs that he wants to cover when doing that.
To reach an agreement it is important that both know and understand well the point of view of the other. For this, you can ask the following questions:
What exactly bothers you about your partner’s behavior?
What are the needs of you that your partner is preventing you from satisfying your position?
What is it that bothers your partner about your behavior?
What are the needs of your partner that are preventing you from satisfying to maintain your position?
What differences exist between the unmet needs of your partner and yours?
Share the differences and look for solutions.
Damian often came home late because after work he sometimes stayed with a client or coworker for a drink and his wife, Begoña, complained that they could not spend any afternoon together. I thought it was selfish behavior and rejection and that he did not do enough to spend more time with her.
He explained that although he did not always want to stay up late, in reality this socialization was important for his work and he was part of it. Begoña could understand this, but she still did not like it. She explained that she felt alone in the afternoons when she got home after a stressful day of work and would like to relax with him or do something together.
As they spoke and understood better the needs of the other, they realized that both were partly right and both had the right to want to satisfy certain needs that were important to them.
From this communication and understanding, they were more willing to seek solutions that took into account the needs of both, instead of waiting for the other to give up meeting their own needs to put ahead of their partner.
They realized that in reality he did not spend every afternoon outside and that she could enjoy those afternoons together and on weekends. On the other hand, she realized that she was focusing too much on him to meet her needs and that she could also fill those afternoons by visiting friends and family or doing other things without depending so much on him.
For his part, he realized that she was also right and that sometimes he stayed to take something with his classmates without really being necessary, but rather because he had a hard time saying no, and promised to return home early. more frequently.
That is, when everyone understood what was really the problem of the other and their needs were not met, they could find solutions and alternatives to satisfy those needs, as well as make both certain concessions or changes that ended up solving the problem.
Beware of “you should…”
To handle differences and have a healthy relationship it is important to leave aside the feelings of anger and the demands that your partner should, at all costs, behave exactly as you want him to behave.
The fundamental difference between having a discussion that does not go anywhere and the fact of sharing and understanding the differences, is that in the first case you are not trying to know or understand the point of view of your partner, but only get away with yours and that your partner does what you want, without taking into account their wishes and needs.
Therefore, if instead of getting to discuss what each should do, you decide to sit down to talk to understand, you will have laid the foundations to solve the problem and have a more lasting relationship.