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SuperMouse's avatar

How does it play out when you and your significant other are forced to agree to disagree?

Asked by SuperMouse (30809points) February 3rd, 2012

Being two different people of course the individuals in a couple are not always going to agree on all of the big stuff. So when you and your spouse or S/O hit one of those issues and are forced to agree to disagree, what does it look like? How do you get past the potential resentment for not having the other person on your side? Does it faze you that they might not approve of your feelings on the subject?

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8 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

It depends on the relationship and the topic. I won’t use my ex-wife as an example, because that was just a mess. But with everyone else it ends pretty well. Yeah, I feel a slight upset that I couldn’t “convert” them, but I know that’s unrealistic. The good thing is that it doesn’t linger that long. Even with friends, I know there are so many other things we agree on that it makes it better.

I argued about a lot with my ex-wife and it was frustrating because it was one thing after another. But with someone I’m more compatible with, it’s easier to let things go because I know we still agree on 80 other things.

So basically, it hurts for a bit, then I forget about it and drop it. I also make sure that the other person feels ok after the debate, so they’re not thinking that I’m thinking bad things about them.

marinelife's avatar

It doesn’t happen often. Once we have really communicated on a subject, we can understand the other’s point of view and try to make accommodation.

For example, I used to travel a lot on business. Pre 9/11. My mind would be on leaving and getting where I was going. His was on a lingering farewell. He liked to park the car and see me off at the gate, and he liked me to wait until the last minute to board the plane. While I wanted to get on board and get settled. Our separate anxieties would build and we would usually end up fighting. Until we thoroughly talked out each of our needs and feelings. That allowed us to compromise.

wundayatta's avatar

This is why we keep the fire arms chest locked.

Well, really, this is why we don’t have any fire arms.

Honestly, I don’t know any more. In the past this created simmering resentments because we felt that the other person didn’t like us if they disagreed with us. Now I think we are more certain about being liked.

But I don’t know if we have a good system. Maybe it’s just to expect it is a process and to try to stay away from locked-in positions as much as possible. Respect for each other helps keep this from turning to resentment. Maybe a little guilt helps, too. I don’t know.

But there are things we haven’t really agreed on. Mostly not crucial things, like the color of the couch or the rug. With respect to things like the kids’ education or how we save or spend our money, we tend to agree. There are some long term issues, like whether we should leave the city for a suburban town with a better school district, but since I’ve always felt that was kind of non-negotiable, she never pushed.

The kids have suddenly put on a major push for a dog. This will mean huge changes, and yet is seems like my wife is now willing to consider it. I guess I’m considering it, too. But we have a process we are in. My daughter has a white board she brings to the table, and she has noted down all kinds of issues, so I guess we’ll work our way through them. But it is my feeling that if we have let it get this far, it must mean we are going to get a dog. Sigh.

I think a dog is good. But I’m just not sure I’m ready for this. I wonder if my daughter realizes that she has already won. I’ll have to ask her later on. I hope she remembers.

Coloma's avatar

I think we have to allow others their own thoughts and opinions, even if we disagree.
The problem arises when a disagreement becomes a fullblown power struggle.
Keeping our own narcissism in check is huge…others are NOT cloned extensions of ourself, they are their own person. Disagreeing does not have to mean a right/wrong dichotomy, it can simply be a difference in preference or opinon.

I see this stuff play out over and over again in all sorts of relationships.
My ex husband was very controlling, had the “my way or the highway” attitude. He was terrible at allowing others their feelings and opinions because his ego was too fragile to handle any healthy disagreement. He also had the hardcore narcissistic fusion of expecting everyone to do and see things his way.

No wonder we are divorced. lol

I remember wanting to get a dog once, and he was so pissed off with my reply.
He said ” But “I” don’t want a dog!” classic making anothers wants all about his wants
I said ” Fine, I won’t get you one!” hahaha

Sunny2's avatar

We have a rule for such things that, whoever cares the most gets his/her way. Since we agree on the important things, it works for us. If neither of us cares much . . .well neither of us cared much and couldn’t decide on what color to paint walls, the walls are white. Well, off-white.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Coloma your points about ego and narcissism are good ones, thanks.

nikipedia's avatar

For a major issue, I guess it goes something like:

1. Try to find a compromise
2. Try to change my mind
3. Try to change his mind
4. Break up

Blondesjon's avatar

Awesome grudge sex.

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