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Choices in Relationships: You Get to Decide

Posted on 28 April, 2015 at 9:00

From time to time couples have disagreements, or even fights. That's completely normal. Actually, it's the couples that say they never argue that are the most concerning to me. That likely means there are many things left unsaid that need to be discussed, potentially resulting in festering wounds that will appear at some point down the line, worse than they would have been if talked about when they first occurred. We all have pet peeves, and we all experience little annoyances from time to time. These things must be dealt with, though. You get to choose how. You either decide to bring it up and discuss it, or decide to let it go. But, remember to pick your battles. Not everything is worth making into a big discussion. Figure out what's important and what really isn't, and let go of the stuff that really isn't important.

Now, that said, there may be times when you and your partner are so far apart on an issue that it seems impossible to resolve it. This is, presumably, not something like how to load the dishwasher "correctly." This type of issue likely runs along the lines of how to manage your money, how to raise your children, or religious or political beliefs. Ideally, you have talked about these things before forming a partnership, but maybe it didn't come up at that time, or maybe viewpoints have changed since then. Whatever the case, these issues and others can be polarizing in a relationship.

So, what do you do? Do you just walk away? Do you put your all into trying to resolve things? Do you accept having different viewpoints and allow that to be okay? Yes. These are all options you can pick.

Walk Away. You are allowed to end a relationship because you have different points of view. Sometimes this is what people choose. They may decide that it is not worth it to try to work through the issue, or it may become apparent that it is not possible to work through it. This could be because neither part of the couple is willing to give an inch, or it could be that one person wants to work on it and the other does not. Before walking away, though, consider all that has been put into the relationship. Are you ready to put that aside and start over? Is it worth it? Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. You get to decide.

Resolve Things. You are allowed to put everything you've got into making the relationship better and trying to resolve the issue. Again, you have to decide if it's worth it to put the work in, and it is certainly most effective if both parties are willing to do this. It is difficult to do marriage counseling when one person is clearly not interested in staying. This is, of course, devastating for the one who wants to stay. However, if both people are working toward the same goal, much progress can be made. It's not necessarily easy to resolve things, but for those who feel strongly that they want to fulfill their commitment no matter what happens, this may be the way to go. You get to decide.

Accept Different Viewpoints. You are allowed to let different viewpoints coexist in the relationship. For some couples, they are able to hold conflicting or differing beliefs while staying together harmoniously. They each release imagined control over the other, which lessens the pressure of being responsible for someone else's views. They choose to let it be okay that they don't agree. They accept the differences instead of allowing them to drive a wedge into the relationship. Can you move past the need to control or to feel responsible for another's beliefs? Can you let go of embarrassment over disagreement on a serious issue? You get to decide.

You get to decide how to handle your relationship. What works for you and your partner may not work for another couple, and that is okay. Find what you can live with, and decide to live with it.

Categories: Women's Issues, Grief and Loss, Life Skills

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