Men and women often perceive the same situation differently. They both are watching the same picture but to one, the picture may be blurred and out of focus. To the other, everything is crystal clear. There are as many opinions about things as there are people. Not everyone is on the same frequency.
Perhaps it’s all about interpretation! Maybe men and women really are from different planets! Could it be true that we all experience contrasting realities of the same event? Do we all think we are right? Are we committed to hold on to that opinion? Does this make us happy in our relationships?
Here’s the scenario. You’ve had a stressful day. Hardly anything went as planned. You arrive at home and discover that your partner has experienced a similar kind of day. You begin to notice that you are taking your day out on your partner (or maybe you don’t notice). He says this. She says that. It starts out little and in no time ALL of your buttons begin to get pushed.
As the misunderstanding gains momentum, what began as a small, insignificant comment, is now causing the pot to simmer. Couples who are considerate of each others feelings would most likely allow this kind of thing to pass on a normal day. The feelings of both partners goes from “It was a bad day, and I’ll survive” to “Let me outta here! I don’t need this in my relationship!”
It’s like a snowball rolling downhill. It get’s bigger and BIGGER and suddenly it mushrooms into a major confrontation. She says this. That makes him even more angry. He says that. Now she’s really pissed!
When disagreements cause you to experience anger, in the middle of all of this, seldom does anyone ever stop to consider the damage that is being done by the choice of words that are spoken. Anger underminds your ability to be considerate of the one you say you love. Sure, it’s wise to let off steam, in a loving way, of course, but the pot shouldn’t be allowed to boil over. That’s when things get messy.
Some people have an event like this and never talk about it again. Then they continue to wonder why the same thing happens over and over again.
Mature love partners will allow for a time of “cooling off,” then in their most gentle and understanding way talk the situation through so each can be complete with it. They give up being right and instead choose a happier path. Stressful events are not there to break us, they are there to make us stronger; to help us learn from the experience and make our time together a time of expressing love, acceptance, understanding and forgiveness.
If problems are not discussed and responsibility acknowledged by each partner for their share of the problem, then the next time one of those small, insignificant everyday misunderstandings occur, the same stuff is likely to surface.
When you do the work of healthy love relationships, you are always about the business of fine-tuning your relationship so that when different versions of the same picture show up, you can lovingly communicate your different perceptions and love each other for having shared them in a healthy way.
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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