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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Respecting Individual Differences



Energy levels, passions, deep-seated values, and traditions — these are just some of the things that couples will find separates them, pragmatically, from the oneness of marital bliss.


It’s imperative to predict and cater for these differences.


If we don’t, and as early on as possible, then we allow divisive forces to intermittently undermine what is good and functional about the relationship.


We know of too many couples who’ve endured pain for these unreconciled differences, as we too have been affected perhaps, personally.


Identifying Differences


Similarities are what draw a couple together. But every couple soon finds differences are what most define their mutual being.


Still, differences are not hard to identify.


Certainly we delve into each other’s families-of-origin, and how they operated. Whether we liked these or not, chances are we’re following in these ways. Our families have more influence than we’d readily acknowledge. They characterise us.


Identifying differences is about understanding the worth of formation — an inescapable force for every one of us.


Resolving to Make Them Void-of-Effect


These differences we have cannot be resolved unless we’re intentional about them.


We should remember that these negative effects were never supposed to define us as a couple. We can quickly lose sight of this.


Differences needn’t be eradicated as much as they need to be voided of vexatious effect. They can’t be allowed to disrupt the positive dynamic anymore than they create a negative dynamic.


This is not ignoring the issues. It’s compensating for them.


Appreciating Differences


There has to be room in every relationship for both individuals to be right.


To be right is to enjoy freedom. The best part in being single is the freedom in autonomy. Most coupled partners happily sacrifice this attribute of singleness to be a partner. Yet, appreciating differences is giving up want of control over the other. Suddenly, a safe sense of autonomy is available again.


The best of both worlds — single and in relationship — is known when two people will happily agree to laugh about the other’s quirks.


This is, presumably, what marital status is all about. The best of life in relationship is possible when unnecessary ‘noise’ between two people is quieted.


How Important Is It?


This is the poignant question.


Winning is not the point. Being right isn’t either.


When we’re happily able to enjoy our partners’ differences, in the mode of the solidity of respect, we find a new level of satisfaction in the companionate love we share.


© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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