Couples Need to Disagree
(Robert C. Dodds)
When it comes to such critical areas as parenting, finances, or how to deal with extended families, we are all tempted to believe a very damaging lie: If we are to be truly “one,” then we cannot be divided by disagreement.
This lie comes in many forms, and it is said in many ways:
- “The kids need to see a united front.”
- “But we’ve always done it this way…why change now?”
- “Okay, fine, you win. I just don’t want to argue about it anymore.”
Lifelong partnership is not about uniformity, it is not about building consensus, and it is definitely not about compromising in order to keep the peace. The only way you and your significant other will get to experience all your relationship has to offer is if you boldly, but calmly, disagree. You are two distinctly different people. You each bring experiences, opinions, and passionate positions to bear on the critical decisions of your life together. That means your disagreement is the only way for you both to learn more about each other, and the best way to re-evaluate your own beliefs. Instead of running from disagreement out of fear, or bullying your partner into the need to be on the same page, sit with it. What does it mean that you disagree? Perhaps she’s got a point? Perhaps you’re not as correct on this as you thought? Perhaps you are magnifying this disagreement in order to deal with the all the resentment you’ve got about another issue?
The only “same page” you need to be on in marriage is the marriage certificate itself.
Peace begins with pause,