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Why Creating Mutual Solutions in Your Relationships Brings Peace and Joy

Phil and Maude at Madonna InnMAUDE: There is an incomparable pleasure to be found in seeking and creating mutual solutions. The very act of embarking down a path together where the adventure of mutuality awaits you, brings an experience of your connection to the forefront. This has a positive effect in and of itself.

When making decisions and looking for answers to perceived problems, it is possible to find resolutions that work for both of you. It is possible to let go of having to be right, of having things your way, or of having to give something up to keep peace. In fact, these methods of separateness and denial bring anything but peace. Instead, they bring stress and a slow-building sense of distance between people.

We share a process you can employ that is free of conflict and filled with the open exchange of ideas and a gentle flexibility, where both of you are sharing and discovering together your deeper desires and the values they represent; where you are finding together something that pleases both of you.

Seeking mutual resolutions brings more than just finding what works for both of you. You are creating something together that wasn’t there before; something that grew from the interaction between you. Not only does peace pervade this path toward mutuality, but it also brings forth the clear understanding that you are both on the same side; that there is a ‘we’ that has real substance. The more often you experience finding mutual solutions, the stronger your awareness of the ‘we’ becomes.

As this sense of connection becomes more and more palpable, it fills the day to day experiences with a joyful, peaceful calm. The action of creating mutuality changes from a way of reaching solutions and making decisions to a more general way of being together.

This understanding of really being on the same side, and of the profound joy, surprise and adventure that this path opens up, gives you a quiet sense of warmth and love that strengthens and deepens every moment of your relationship.

PHIL: We’ve developed a way for resolving differences by talking calmly, expressing our positions and feelings and continuing to suggest new possibilities until we find a solution that works for both of us. Rather than being an unpleasant conflict, this approach has a different quality to it that is rather like solving a puzzle.

We have come to see that this interactive process has a parallel in how we connect much of the time. It hasn’t been obvious because daily life doesn’t have the same high profile as an event resolving differences, but the same elements are there. Hearing the other person. Appreciating their differences. Being open to new possibilities. And just as our process for resolving differences has a pleasurable quality to it, so does this style of daily living. You might think that we’re saying no more than that life and relationships are pleasurable, and indeed they are, but being actively aware of how you interact and the ever present possibilities of something new and different arising turns the mundane into the sacred. Every moment is filled with potential. By letting go of assumptions of what will happen, you make room for the new and unexpected.

This is scary, of course, which is why it is not easy to do. Your regular path and regular expectations are where you find comfort and safety, but you need variety, surprise and novelty to truly be alive. This openness will deepen the connections you have with everyone.

Photo credit: Madonna Inn guest
Photo note: Phil and Maude at Madonna Inn

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner


Books on shelfThis week, we wrote about why creating mutual solutions in your relationships brings peace and joy. We have a particular process for this, but here are some articles that talk about it from different points of view.

How to Foster Mutual Understanding with Your Partner “Avoid blaming, and focus on problem-solving. While it may seem like a perfect opportunity to use your time to speak as a way to talk about what your partner "should" or "ought" to do, this is not a forum for blaming. Avoid using labels that will simply incite anger. By coming up with possible solutions to the problem at hand, you are more likely to find mutual understanding. You and your partner are simply that---partners. When people encounter problems, it is important to focus on the possible solutions, rather than trying to prove who is wrong or right.”

How to Improve Your Relationships With Effective Communication Skills “Remember that the goal of effective communication skills should be mutual understanding and finding a solution that pleases both parties, not "winning" the argument or "being right."

Equal Partnership Through Mutual Attunement and Mutual Decision-Making “Research denotes that couples that have mutual influence in their relationship, respect both partners’ opinions as valid, are both responsible for making final Merri-Lu Jackman Brigham Young University 1 Jackman: Equal Partnership Through Attunement and Decision-Making Published by BYU ScholarsArchive, 2020 decisions, followed by both partners supporting the decisions, experience greater connection and happiness in their marriage (LeBaron et al., 2014; Leonhardt et al., 2019; Jensen et al., 2013).”

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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