We recently had the honor of writing a guest article for together.guide, an interesting site aimed at supporting relationships. It has a very clean, well-designed look, and was founded by Erik Newton, an ex-divorce attorney who decided to shift his focus and help couples build healthy relationships. We highly recommend this site, which includes articles and podcasts featuring a wide variety of topics on relationships.
In our guest article “Our Conflict-free Relationship” we wrote about how different our view is on estrangement within relationships. Here’s an excerpt from the article (this week’s audio is the full article):
Our view on conflict in relationships is radically different from the common one, which holds that conflicts are unavoidable, even important and necessary. In our experience, this is a fallacious assumption that sets up and perpetuates a negative mindset. Couples are primed to expect adversarial exchanges in which they take different sides, creating an illusory separation between them. Our experience is otherwise…. When you can imagine that such a relationship is possible, a great transformation can occur…. This kind of intimacy brings the real experience of peace, which has the power to change the world.
Here’s what we wrote in our latest book “How Two: Have a Successful Relationship”:
All of us have heard over and over that conflict is inevitable within a relationship. The common view is that we must deal with this conflict and learn to work through it. We believe that the essence of this myth is false. Although well-meaning, it perpetuates the view that the partners are adversaries and on different sides, and this attitude often leads to unnecessary separateness and estrangement between couples. It reinforces differences such as gender and personality, and instead of making them something potentially positive, presents them as obstacles to be overcome. Many therapists believe in conflict , and even seem to revel in it…. We categorically reject this view. Instead, we see differences as something to celebrate, and rather than leading to an inevitable conflict , they can be a strength which helps a couple thrive.
We’ve really enjoyed what we have found on together.guide; for example, Erik writes this week about what monogamists can learn from polyamorists. We listened to a 2 part podcast by Gaby and Raj and enjoyed their sharing on the tools they’ve created and use to keep their relationship going in the direction they’ve chosen for it. There is a lot of pragmatic and novel information to use and peruse on this site. Check it out.