Sunday, February 16, 2014

Give and Take in a Partnership

I'm currently single (and happy about it), but I've been married three times.  I learned a lot.  I've learned a lot more in my recovery program.  I also talk to a lot of people who are in a partnership and having conflict.  I've learned a lot from that too.

The thing is, from time to time one of the partners has a huge desire of the heart that if it were satisfied would make the other person feel like he/she were living in hell.  Unfortunately this kind of situation is kind of frequent - just my observation.  I'm not talking about the day to day conflict of where we eat dinner, who left the trash overflowing, etc.  I'm talking about the big stuff when someone really wants something and the other person feels terribly threatened.

I recently heard from one side of a conflict like that.  Luckily neither one of the partners blamed the other one.  Blame is usually the way it goes. Both sides feel attacked.  Then the conflict escalates into who's right and who's wrong, good/bad, etc.  Both see the other as an enemy.  Neither side wants to give in because they don't want to feel like the other person controls them.  Usually these fights get really messy and mean, and there are a lot of permanently hurt feelings. 

But in this case both sides listened to the other.  One of them gave in because of the pain the other person was in at the very thought of the potential change.  I'm sure that was hard to do.  They are to be congratulated for not trying to tear each other to shreds in a power struggle.

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