Home Archive Prev Next

Why It Is Important To Remember You Are On The Same Side As Your Partner

Bridge playersWe live a peaceful, harmonious life together. What makes this possible? Because that is our desire and our intention.

We often caution you to remember that you and your partner (the same applies to all intimate relationships) are both on the same side. This understanding and a mutual awareness of it are vital to a peaceful loving relationship. And yet, couples rarely talk about this together, and few realize how this simple statement can lift you out of so many of those unnecessary feelings of separation and distance, even feelings of being threatened or attacked.

What is being on the same side? It is an awareness that you are a team, that you are intentionally committed to supporting each other, respecting each other’s individuality, fostering each other’s growth. This is not a merely intellectual knowing, it is rather an awareness that permeates all your actions. It is palpable between you.

Many people start out with this understanding between them. We find that it often becomes taken for granted and can be pushed to the back of consciousness by the daily pulls and pressures of life. This pitfall must be avoided and the foundational understanding of being on the same side must be reiterated verbally and in actions on a regular basis.

This is key to having a peaceful relationship: when you are on the same side, you are not on different sides, i.e. you are not arguing. Who wouldn’t want that? Yet you might feel that it is an impossible ideal – that sometimes you have to argue to defend what you want, lest you end up stripped of both possessions and power.

That is not the case. You don’t have to argue. If you want a peaceful relationship, you must act peacefully yourself. You can’t treat your partner as an enemy threatening to take something away from you, whether it’s the last beer, the right to be heard or the decision on where to live. Yet you don’t have to meekly hand over whatever is asked for, and you don’t have to escalate by defending or counter-attacking. Instead, you can de-escalate by asking:

  • Do we want to fight?
  • Do we enjoy fighting?
  • Aren’t we on the same side?

You might have a partner who gives different answers from yours, and then you’ll have to decide if that is something you can live with. But when you and your partner agree that you don’t want to fight, then you can resolve your differences by taking the steps we’ve described in How to Work Through Disagreements to Reach a Mutual Solution.

When you feel secure in the knowledge that both of you want peace and intend to be peaceful in your behavior with one another, there grows a presumption of love coming forth in your interactions, of an approach that is not threatening to who you are, but is instead filled with caring, understanding and support. This calms hurts and fears from the past and creates a relationship that is taking place in the present where the bedrock is one of mutuality, not adversarial interaction.

When you don’t feel threatened, blamed or accused, you can relax and listen and hear each other in a whole different way. If tension and anger arise, remind one another that you are in this together, that you are truly on the same side and you can find solutions and make decisions which will work for both of you. Most of all, look for those together. Co-create them.

Photo credit: Anandamoy Bhattacharjie

We would love to hear your questions and feedback. Click here and leave them on the blog directly.
 Headphone iconClick here to listen to Phil reading this blog.

Successful Relationship Reading Corner

Books on shelfThis week, we wrote about why it is important to remember you are on the same side as your partner. We found remarkably little addressing this topic directly, so we had to link to an earlier article of ours.

This One Phrase Helps Turn A Fight Into A Problem To Solve "After 10 years of marriage, Ashley Innes is no stranger to heated, circular arguments with her spouse. Oftentimes, these fights are centered on work-life balance since both she and her husband have demanding, high-stress jobs. But then, Innes pulled out a secret argument-ending phrase that she now uses often. “I told my husband, ‘Hey, remember we’re on the same team,’” she said. “Saying that just instantly takes you out of the argument and reminds you that this person is not the enemy.”"

Know You are on the Same Side in Your Relationship "In any relationship, there can be a feeling of being on the same side that is quite delicious. It may be no more than the grizzled assistant at the hardware store helping you decide the best way to construct a raised flower bed. He’s not trying to maximize the sale; he’s working with you to find the best approach. Or maybe it’s you and your partner planning the garden or a trip or the blog you write together. Whatever it is, become attuned to that feeling, because if it vanishes, that’s a warning signal that you may be swerving into the path of a full-blown argument."

GET ON THE SAME PAGE (The Secret To A Feel Good Relationship) "What does this mean? It means quite simply that if we want our relationships to continue long term and if we want to feel good in our relationships, we have to BE ON THE SAME PAGE. When I counsel couples, every conflict I see boils down to this simple thing. The two people involved in the relationship are not on the same page. The differences between their perspectives and desires and therefore thoughts and actions about a subject are causing a wide vibrational gap to form between them."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
Read our blogs at PhilAndMaude.
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
Email us at philandmaude@philandmaude.com
If you are interested in newsletters you've missed, see our archive.
Do you know anyone who would enjoy this newsletter? Tell them to sign up at https://philandmaude.com/signup/