Agreeing to Disagree

When it comes to marriage and problems, sometimes couples get too focused on winning an argument. The simple truth is when you focus on winning an argument – you are both deciding that one of you will be the loser. This is especially true when you are in the early years of a marriage.

There is More than One Truth

When we talk about arguments, it’s usually because the parties involved have different viewpoints. Your perspective and your perception are two of the main ingredients in determining not only how you feel about a matter, but also how you define your truth Truth is flexible and if that goes against the grain of everything you’ve ever believed – then you may need to adjust the way you look at truth.

Science defines truth as a verifiable fact that stands up to testing. However, what is a fact for one situation may not be a fact for another. For example, water freezes at a certain temperature. This is a fact. It can be proven in repeated demonstrations.

In a situation where several witnesses see a purse-snatcher, you will get varying descriptions of what the purse-snatcher looked like. You are also likely to get different accounts of what actually happened. Police investigators understand that when they do a canvas of witnesses that even two people standing side by side may give differing and even conflicting accounts. It’s only through disseminating all of these accounts that they can get down to a reasonable account of what actually happened.

So who is telling the truth?

In the majority of these cases, discounting an individual who may be trying to deliberately mislead someone else, they are all telling the truth. This is why truth is flexible. What you observe is often colored by your own experiences and frame of reference.

This is why arguments between spouses can be so irritating. Both parties can feel slighted because they are not being heard and they are both convinced of the rightness of their truth. When you accept that what you view as truth and what your spouse views as truth may be two entirely different things you are a step closer to resolving the differences.

Instead of Exasperation, Try Explanation

You and your spouse need to reach an agreement that requires you to explain your viewpoint and to listen to each other’s views on a subject. Ignore the right or wrong and winner or loser scenarios. Accept that your husband or wife actually did hear or see things the way they are telling it. I’ve talked about assuming good intentions before and this is a critical ingredient to making this solution work for you.

By validating your spouse’s viewpoint, you remove the defensive and offensive postures from the disagreement. In a sense, you are even removing the disagree from the disagreement and now you are having a conversation. Conversations can enlighten, educate and reveal information while at the same time providing both of you with a better understanding of the facts of the situation. You can resolve differences more effectively and you get the added benefit of seeing something from another viewpoint. Ultimately, you may end up agreeing to disagree on a topic – but that’s a whole lot better than yelling at each other and that’s my truth on the matter.

Related Articles:

Complain, Don’t Criticize

The Five Things You Don’t Want In Your Marriage (Part II)

Positive Expectations

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.