Don't Fall into the Trap of Making Your Partner Wrong

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So we can fall into the trap of using our differences as a way to make our partner wrong, which only generates friction, distance, and perpetual conflicts that wear couples down. We fight against our partner’s differences and judge them. What we want to create is a thriving relationship in which each of us is stimulated by our differences to become better. We can use our differences as a springboard to balance our perceptions of the world, develop skills that may be weak or absent, and make our life together a fun adventure.

How to Make a Relationship Work Even with Differences

TIP 1:   Get curious.

Often when we get curious about our partner's behavior and what they value, it can quickly turn frustration into understanding. For instance, if your partner is a planner, find out why having a plan is so important to him or her. And if you're spontaneous, find ways to maintain spontaneity while also planning ahead where it matters most to your partner.

TIP 2:   Call to mind specific ways your partner's trait helps to strengthen your relationship.

By putting your attention briefly on the gift of their quality (instead of the frustration), it helps shift negative emotions to appreciation. Once we regain our perspective, we start recognizing that they really aren't trying to make our life hard! In fact, their view of the world opens a new viewpoint for us!

TIP 3:  Carve time for quality togetherness.

With schedules too full, we can find ourselves only relaying logistics or details necessary to make life work. Differences are magnified and most testy when our lives are stressed. If you find yourself grumbling about your partner, chances are you haven't had an enjoyable time together recently. Regularly reserve fun or relaxing time as a couple. Find activities you both enjoy. Invest in the relationship by doing more of the things that create greater closeness.

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