The hallmark of a superior intellect is one that recognizes that we need to keep an open dialogue on all issues both those we agree on and those we don’t. I’m such a huge believer in debate and differences of opinion, the largest reason being that when you have the ability to see the other person’s point of view, you are opening up the opportunity to learn something and to learn more than what a limited viewpoint might offer.
We Don’t Always Agree
My husband and I have different approaches to life. We have different backgrounds. We have different experiences. We have different beliefs on many issues. However, that being said – we also agree wholeheartedly that we love those differences. We have different strengths and weaknesses and in many ways we are a perfect complement to each other.
One of the rules we employ in our communication is to not assume anything but good intentions. Our priorities are very similar in leaning – we put our child first and our marriage and family right there with it. Our decision-making may take into account different values, but with such close priorities, we can discuss our differences and it’s not unusual for one or the other to allow their position to be swayed by the reasonable argument.
How do we do this?
Because we value the other’s viewpoints; we can do this because we can enjoy the validity of an alternate argument when it’s presented reasonably and logically – and yes, sometimes even passionately. No, we don’t agree on everything – we don’t have to. I actually think it would be kind of boring if we agreed on every issue and every decision. There’s plenty we do agree on and there’s a great deal we can actually make the argument for the other person.
Is it a perfect marriage? Such a thing does not exist. But as long as we keep the dialogue open between us we are capable of agreeing to disagree when we need to and to listen to a presentation of the facts colored by a different viewpoint. Sometimes I can absolutely hate some of the things that he says, but it doesn’t change the brilliance or the thoughtfulness with which he presents his arguments.
I don’t have to agree with someone to like them or even love them. I don’t have to believe what someone else believes to support them utterly in their convictions. I guess I just need them to have convictions to begin with – and my husband has those and I respect and admire that every bit as much as I love them. I have the most fun when we are openly debating the issues – in large part because I can love him and he can love me – and our differing beliefs don’t affect that.
Do you and your spouse enjoy healthy debate?