To find a satisfactory outcome when you disagree with your partner, generally you have to compromise. That means you get a little and you give a little. Ideally, both sides feel that they've “won”. A relationship succeeds only when both parties feel they have their needs met.
Here are some ways to compromise:
Split the Difference – meet each other half way. When discussing vacation plans and one person wants to go on a cruise and the other wants to go to Hawaii, consider a Hawaiian cruise.
Alternate your choices – if a Hawaiian cruise is out of the question (these are more expensive than Caribbean cruises or typical Hawaiian vacations), consider alternating doing one this year and one the next.
Alternate Concessions – If your partner feels strongly about one thing and you don't, agree to it on the basis that he or she will concede something you want.
Satisfy the Objections – when there are all or none choices (ie. Whether to have kids), discuss the objections each of you have. For instance, if a person is concerned about the financial burden of having a child, discuss ways to increase the household's income.
Pick Your Battles
You have only so many years on earth and you have only so much emotional energy. You simply can't fight over every single issue. So, pick your battles and limit your fights to the issues that really matter.
If you have multiple and complex issues with your partner, you are going to have to prioritize what issues are most important to you. Some psychologists recommend that you make a list of all of your grievances and then pick out the top three. Resolve to only confront those issues until you reach a satisfactory accord with your partner. Only then will you bring up anything else on the list.
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There is an old saying that you can “win the battle but lose the war.” Remember that you can win one concession after another and then have your partner walk out because there is simply nothing left in the relationship for him or her.
Another thing is that the more you fight with your partner and the more issues you deal with at any given time, the more likely it is that you will simply run out of the emotional energy needed to sustain the relationship. So, when dealing with grievances, pick your battles.
Choose the Right Time and Place for Confrontations
There are good times and bad times for everything. Taking your wife to a fancy French dinner and talking to her about tightening the belt – either for family finances or her own waistline – is a bad idea!
Productive conversations take place when you are not:
You should be able to focus on the issue at hand. It should be in a physical location where you can maintain eye contact. It should be in a place where both of you can feel physically and emotionally comfortable. Finally, you should plan the encounter so that you will have enough time to have a lengthy conversation and resolve the matter.
Relationships take work. The longer you are with your partner, the more issues you will have come up. As you grow and change personally, new issues will arise. As you move through the various stages of life – dating, marriage, children, growing old – you will face new challenges. All of these things require that you learn communications strategies that work.
The good news is that once you learn to communicate well, you can face these challenges effectively. While the birth of a child brings on new kinds of stress, the lessons you learned communicating when you were first married and learning to live with each other will come into play.
Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is not to “win.” When you love someone, the ultimate goal is to move the relationship into an ever more loving plane. You do this through implementing the various strategies mentioned in this report.
Now go communicate in a loving way! But first watch this Video!