When you don’t agree about something, what do you feel is the best way of going about it?
Brit: I find the key is to speak to one another when you are both in a responsive state, rather than a reactive one. Get clear on what it is you want, take responsibility for how you feel, and be honest.
Junior: We don't often let things go unsaid. Well, Brit doesn't allow that to happen, haha. We will talk about the topic at hand, hearing each other out. But, as Brit said, make sure you're in a responsive state because if not, there will probably be a lot of interrupting, which doesn't get anyone anywhere.
If you still don’t agree after many conversations, what do you do?
Brit: Take some time away from the conversation. This allows you time to reflect on things more, gaining even more clarity about how to move forward. I’ll often speak to friends who I know will offer me loving support; friends I know won’t pick sides but offer me experience and wisdom.
Junior: I would still keep the lines of communication open, and in the process, try to come to some sort of resolution or compromise. Usually, Brit would suggest some books to read, audios to listen to, or people to follow to gain some new insights and perspectives. I would do the same.
What if nothing seems to be working?
Brit: There has to be some sort of compromise. It’s important to view things from your partner's perspective, even if you disagree with them. Put yourself in their shoes. It invites more compassion and understanding. Remember, more often than not, they are coming from a place of love. Your partner should also be willing to view things from your perspective to learn where you are coming from as well.
Junior: I’d look to exhaust all options in trying to get to a resolution or compromise. Asking or looking to outside sources for advice would be an option I’d be open to pursuing.
My partner refuses to make any changes, and we're at a plateau. What can be done?
Brit: Consider what you can do to connect with your partner more. If compromise or understanding seems elusive, focus on deepening your connection as a couple. Spend more intimate time with each other. Discuss your principles and values as parents. Conscious communication is essential for growth in a relationship.
Junior: Give it time. I usually will slowly start to come around to look at the disagreement differently or one of us will slowly change their stance. For me, seeing that she is very strong in her beliefs on the topic and going over/listening to any kind of material she supplied me with, and all the conversations we’ve had… Whether we come to a compromise or I just give in to her way of things… I know that I can be very hard-headed but I’m also very open to change and nuance.
Ultimately, you want to come to a place of trusting one another. How did you come to trust Brit, even when you had different opinions?
Junior: I know my wife and trust that her points of view and judgment are backed by love and compassion, with the well-being of our family and anything or anyone else involved at the forefront.
Brit: By no means, do we have it all figured out. We continue to navigate the challenges that come up and the obstacles that we are faced with, and sometimes it takes a lot more conversations than just one, but I believe conscious, honest communication goes a long way. It's hard to see clearly when you are in a reactive state. Oftentimes, the conflict seems like it will never find a resolution. This is why working on your relationship regularly is so important because when you can communicate with one another openly and honestly in an environment that feels safe, then having the tough conversations will come more easily even through the discomfort.
A great book I would recommend is Conscious Loving by Gay and Kathleen Hendricks
I also have a free offering called Aligning Your Six Human Needs that not only supports you in meeting your needs in healthy ways but also in meeting your partner's, and vice versa. Check it out [HERE]