Overcoming Relationship Differences

Experience of friction and conflict in relationships.


Opposites can attract and have amazing, stormy, tempestuous relationships which are sadly more likely to fail because the friction and conflict that is experienced in these relationships can reach the stage where one or both of the partners says, why bother. Your best chance of a long term relationship is if you find someone who has similar interests, a similar personality, a similar background. The actual similarity does not matter because if you start out with something in common you have a connection, and if you have a connection you can grow it and strengthen it. You will have problems but if you are capable of over your relationship differences then you should be all right.

Each relationship is composed of two unique individuals. Both of you have your own separate histories, your own effects, your own desires and needs, your own hopes, dreams, emotions and perspectives. This is great because if you were both exactly the same you would have a very boring relationship. We need the differences in relationships to spark new thoughts and ideas and to drive the relationship forward. Our differences can make life interesting but there are times when our differences are just to pronounced. Overcoming relationship differences is a real test of diplomacy and one which will decide if your relationship will survive.


Whilst you are on your honeymoon period you both float along on a see of love, up until the point that you rejoin the real world and suddenly your partner is not that vision of perfection and could well be surprise critical, and dare I say, you Also find yourself in the position of being critical of them. Okay, so you have looked and not everything is good, but can you live with that?

When you went into this relationship, what kind of expectations did you have, were they realistic or unrealistic? Who did your partner fall in love with, was it you or was it someone that you are not? Our views on relationships are shaped from when we are children, we start with our parents relationship and as we grow older we receive fresh input from novels, TV, Hollywood and our own personal experiences. You have to be able to accept that the person that you fell in love with has some things that you would probably like to change, but you fell in love with the whole package not just the good bits so you have to learn to be happy with Who you have.

If your partner disagrees it does not mean that they do not love you, it just means that they see things differently to you, and who is to say that they are not right. You need to learn to listen to what you partner says to you, and no matter how much you disagree let them say their piece before you respond, it shows respect for your partner and you find out everything that is bothering them. You do not have to be always right, there could be a number of correct answers to your problem, you might even be wrong. Do not automatically assume that you know everything until you have all the facts, if there is something that your are unclear about then ask questions until you do. It is a whole lot easier to deal with an issue once you have all the relevant information, rather than shouting and screaming at each other and getting now. Overcoming relationship differences effectively is all about a quiet, calm, rational approach.


When your differences clash you need to face your issues together. Deal with them in a calm and rational way, which I accept is a bit clinical but it is the quickest and most effective way to deal with your issues. If tempers are a bit raised then take a time out, you will achieve nothing if you are angry. Once things have cooled down do not forget to return to the problem, until you deal with it it will never go. Deal with each issue one at a time and nothing but that issue. Do not get distracted with trying to blame each other, getting defensive or focusing on previous arguments, it achieves nothing and is a complete waste of your time! You are not looking for a solution that favors just one partner, you are looking to find the solution that is best for the relationship. If you both walk away happy with what you have achieved then it will draw you closer and make it easier to deal with the next time that your differences clash.

There is a variety of ways that your differences could clash. It could be down to the way that you were brought up, one of you could be a military brat, which can bring its own headaches. It could be about money, chores, kids, career, kids, vacations, sex or even if you have a significant age difference. Now that the world is a much smaller place you might have a partner that comes from another country, which means that you have cultural differences to deal with. Your partner could also come from a different faith. As you can see, over relationship relationships can be complicated.


When you meet someone and it looks like it is going to get serious then have a talk with them about what you are both looking for from the relationship. Hopefully you will both be reasonably close in your hopes and dreams, it gets interesting if you are not. If you are at opposite infinities to each other then the chances are that the relationship will not work, for it to stand the test of time and not waste your lives you have to want the same things. Overcoming relationship differences means you are going to have to make compromises, which lets face it is what happens in any healthy relationship. Does you partner offer you a close enough match to make it worth pursuing happiness together. If you have some common ground this makes things easier but if not talk about how you can create some. Everything that you want to say, say it now, but be respectful about it. If it all adds up then move your relationship to the next stage. Your differences will clash again but so long as you keep talking about love, life and the universe to your partner then you should make it through.

Source by Michael Finlayson