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Understanding vs Agreement
Working Wife


Understanding vs. Agreement

 Q:  My husband and I are fighting more than ever. We have only been married for two years, but our life together seems like 90 percent arguing and 10 percent communication.  He disagrees with just about everything I say and vice versa.  Any ideas for increasing communication?


A:  An important part of successful communication in a relationship is recognizing the difference between gaining understanding and gaining agreement.  If you and your husband feel you have “successfully communicated” only when you both agree, you may be working on the wrong issue.  Perhaps the focus needs to be gaining understanding and accepting differences. Typically the beginning of a relationship is based on similarities and a chorus of “me toos.”  As a relationship grows and develops to the next stage, healthy individuals will typically have differences of opinion.  How you achieve understanding about you differences and validate each other’s right to have separate ideas and feelings is essential to the growth of your relationship.

      Perhaps the next time your husband disagrees with you, you could experiment with genuinely finding out why he feels so strongly or differently than you do.  See if achieving understanding and listening lessens the tension and sense of competing for who is “right.”  Naturally the commitment to listening and achieving understanding must be a two-way street in a healthy relationship.