Relationships are about compromise. What happens when your partner isn’t willing?
Now and then, I talk with a client or potential client who tells me their spouse or partner doesn’t believe in Feng Shui. I’ve even had people say, “I want you to come to my house to do the Feng Shui, but we cannot tell my husband.” Usually, that leads to them explaining that their partner doesn’t support what they are doing or wanting in another area of their life. That objection can create friction and insecurity in the relationship.
I get it. Relationships take work, and managing differences is challenging.
When I first met my husband, we talked about moving in together. I said to him, “I come with a cat.” He replied, “But you don’t have a cat.” I said again, “Yeah, but I come with a cat.”
I explained that I had lived with cats my whole life and deeply missed having that companionship while in college. Now that I was alone, I couldn’t find an affordable apartment in Los Angeles that allowed pets. So, if I was going to move, I needed to find a space that would enable me to have a cat, and I needed my roommate/partner to accept that, too.
It helped him to understand why having a cat was so important to me, and he was willing to agree to accept me with a cat that I didn’t own yet.
Can you imagine what would have happened to our relationship if I moved into the apartment and got a cat without sharing, with my future husband, why having a cat was so important? I’m sure he’d have quickly moved out, and we wouldn’t be married almost 20 years later.
I admit that I feel fortunate because now, we both love cats and are happy to have one or two in the house.
But not every relationship is like this. The truth is disagreements on the best way to handle things will arise in relationships. And associations of all kinds. It could be in your most intimate personal relationships, and it could be in business relationships, too.
It’s common for people to compromise in their relationships. This could mean you “meet halfway” on something. Alternatively, you may “take turns” prioritizing each other’s preferences concerning something.
But what if you disagree on a big thing? Something you don’t think you should ever have to compromise on?
While I’m not a therapist or relationship expert, here are a few things I have picked up along the way:
- Show Your Gratitude. Presumably, you’ve agreed on things in the past. Maybe even some big stuff. Don’t forget that. Take time to express what you appreciate in the relationship. Remember that you are on the same team.
- Be a Little Curious. Take a deep breath and take time to try to understand your partner’s perspective. Ask for more information, and listen to your spouse or partner without judgment. The way we see it is just one interpretation of the situation.
- Shoot for Empathy. One thing I know is that people are longing for connection. Showing empathy builds a connection with people, which is great for relationships. When someone is talking, we are often thinking about what we will say next. A crucial part of understanding your partner’s perspective is actively listening to what they are saying. Then, take time to truly understand it.
- Know Your Partner’s Type. It helps to get to know them for who they are. Your partner is not your adversary. Their brain is wired differently. Your partner might hear you and even understand you, but that doesn’t guarantee that they will see it your way. To get to know your partner’s “type” – that could be any system. I use Chinese Astrology/Four Pillars of Destiny, that helps us understand each other and develop intimacy
- Step away. If you feel that you are having the same discussion over and over, like a recorded version of every argument you’ve ever had, it’s time to give it some space. You may be emotionally and physically upset, overwhelmed, or overwrought; take a brief break from the discussion. Use the time to collect yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings and return to a calmer place. Sometimes, taking a break is a good idea for everyone in the discussion. It allows the partner to absorb what has happened and process through some of it before you resume.
Learning to manage differences in relationships is an acquired skill that can take time to work on. The rewards can pay off in ways that you may not be able to see or experience right away. Getting good at it will help you with your partner and with many other people you interact with in your life.
The Feng Shui of your home can also impact the quality of your relationships. The energy in your home can trigger conflicts and arguments when the energy is ‘off.’ When the energy is out of alignment, it can lead to resentment and feeling disconnected. If that feels true, it may be time to incorporate Feng Shui into your life.
When you are living in an environment that is nurturing and supportive, life is just better and feels more manageable. Need help with that? Contact for a consultation today.