The Heart of the Matter
The other week we quoted Dr. Susan Heitler “Marriage fights, that is, arguing at any level of intensity, reflect a breakdown in partnership. It means you have switched to a stance of being opponents, arguing for yourself and against your partner”, and that led to us looking at why that never happens for us.
The very heart of our loving relationship is that we are partners, lovers, and friends. We always want the best for each other, and we want to find ways to make decisions and solve problems in ways that not only work for both of us, but also work for our partnership.
We don’t ever step away from this position. We simply do not. Neither of us has any attraction to combat or competition. If we notice any of this type of energy creeping in, we move away from that immediately. We do so with consciousness and by choice.
First, there is the experience of partnership. That feeling is not limited to relationships; it arises under many circumstances, from constructing Legos with your child to being in a business partnership. You’re both working towards the same goals, and for us, they are the strength, support, companionship and sensuality we gain from our relationship. This experience of partnership is a distinct, tangible feeling, and from our previous relationships, we both know what it feels like for that to fall away and be replaced by an adversarial one. That fight can be about many things – character, money, respect, jealousy, time – the reason isn’t important here, and often becomes lost in history.
It’s a distinct, recognizable feeling, and we simply choose not to go there. If either of us feel that things are moving towards the boundary that separates partnership from competitiveness, we avoid escalating the differences. This isn’t just a cerebral exercise, as it’s also an instinctive response; it’s like riding a bicycle, where you don’t need to pay attention to staying in balance, even though it’s something that you clearly are doing.
You simply don’t need to argue in a relationship. You never need to stand on opposite sides #quote Click To TweetWe’re not talking about suppressing feelings or giving anything up; a partnership can accommodate feelings and wants quite well without arguing, thank you. If it can’t, that argument is over core values that don’t match. This needs to be dealt with differently, and we’ve written about it in several blogs. Think about this another way: if the argument isn’t about core values, you’re going to reach a resolution and reconcile at some point, so why argue? It just leaves scratches, blood and scars, we hope only metaphorically. What else it has done is to discharge your emotions, whether fear, anger, insecurity, rage or whatever they are for you, but the problem is that they were aimed at the other person. It is important to release those emotions, but own them, make them yours, don’t pin them on your partner. “I’m angry that…” not “You make me angry because….” Maintain your awareness of being on the same side, while still sharing your feelings .
There is a big difference between us and couples who fight and become two separate competing individuals rather than two supportive partners. We both feel supported in our individuality within the relationship. When you feel safe that you are not going to be assailed, that no attempt is going to be made to change your essential being, you can relax instead of pushing any one position as the right one. Instead you are able to listen and to co-create new ideas that are better for both of you.
What’s really important to emphasize here is the quality of the experience. To be in a relationship like this is to live in a state of quiet ecstasy, an “Aha!” realization that it is possible to live in a whole other way. Find your truth in this area. Do you seek peace in your relationship? If so, that is something that needs to be foremost in your minds and hearts; it needs to be something you both understand is at the heart of your union. It must be the bedrock from which all else occurs. When this is the case, no matter what happens you will find yourselves joyously handling it together.