Are you someone who thinks that a good relationship means you have to agree with each other about everything?

Many people believe that the sign of a good relationship is that they agree with each other about everything. Of course it is helpful if you are in agreement about your core values.   But it doesn’t mean you are in a bad relationship if you don’t agree about everything.  In fact, this is often a sign that one or both of you are sacrificing your beliefs, feelings or needs for the relationship.

Pretending to Agree

When partners pretend to agree in order to avoid an argument, this can lead to a relationship that isn’t honest. You can start to feel that you aren’t free to express yourself fully and this eventually takes its toll in many ways.  You may become depressed, resigned, have physical symptoms which seem to have no cause and start to feel disconnected from your partner.  Often the relationship deteriorates subtly and you don’t notice what’s going on until it’s too late.

Disagreeing Respectfully

A successful relationship is one where partners are free to disagree with each other in a respectful way. It is important to acknowledge and validate your partner’s point of view and be able to empathize with them.  This doesn’t mean that you automatically agree with them.

In order to do this successfully, you need to have a good sense of self. If you have low self-esteem and find it hard to value your own opinions, it is going to be harder for you to present your point of view and stick to it regardless of your partner’s viewpoint.

Being Separate and Different To Your Partner

Another important factor is to understand that you are separate and different from each other. This means that your way of thinking, feeling and operating in the world is somewhat different to that of your partner.  This doesn’t mean that your way is wrong and your partner’s is right or vice versa.  It simply means that you are different people, with different backgrounds, life experiences, and your own personality.

Often couples believe that a strong relationship means they have to be as alike in their thinking as they can be. Over time, we adapt and even take on some of our partner’s ways of looking at the world.  This is normal.  The difficulties arise when you find that you have given up too much of yourself.  This is usually when you feel like you don’t know who you are anymore outside of the relationship.  And sometimes you don’t know who you are anymore within the relationship.

 What Does A Healthy Relationship Look Like?

The trick to a healthy relationship is to be able to recognize and accept that your partner is entitled to their own way of looking at and approaching the world. Rather than feel threatened by this, try to understand why your partner feels the way they do about something that may be so different to the way you feel about it.  You will discover a lot more about yourself and your partner in the process.

You will even come to value your differences and appreciate how this keeps your relationship strong and vibrant.

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