Why It Is Important To Remember You Are On The Same Side As Your Partner
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We 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.
If tension and anger arise in your relationship, remember you are on the same side #relationship Click To TweetThat 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
Here are some other articles about this all-important topic.
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What a miracle it would be to apply what you’ve written above- we are all on the same side- to the larger picture of what is going on the world’s cultural divide fraught with anger, hatred, mistrust . To realize we all want the same things: Safe homes and to protect our children, family, and friends. If we can come together as “Partners on the Same Side” of these issues as a start, Maybe peace will win out!
That is our hope and our goal – spreading peace one relationship at a time – through the direct experience of peace we can come to understand how to do it on the larger scale – one by one, with each other!