You and your partner may be a match made in heaven. Everything about them lights up your world, and you couldn’t imagine living without them. Except… what if they don’t be have the same viewpoints as you when it comes to things like politics, religion, or lifestyle choices? As frustrating as this can be – don’t panic! You can make it work if you work together to achieve the same goal – a happy, healthy relationship. Besides, agreeing on everything is boring, right? Here are some tips to help overcome the differences in beliefs.
1. Listen to their side without interrupting (even when you know what they’re saying isn’t factual).
It’s essential, no matter how hard it is for you, to let them explain without being interrupted. This can be especially hard if it’s a subject you’re passionate about and you know that what they are saying isn’t correct, but you have to show them that you respect them and their opinion no matter what.
2. Have clarity.
Be clear on what the situation is about. Don’t turn a small argument over the price of gas into something about the control of the Patriarchy in our society. Take one step at a time, and don’t jump into deeper waters than necessary.
3. Don’t let it come between your relationship.
No matter what happens, no matter what is said, it’s important to remember why you chose to spend your life with them in the first place. Don’t let a few disputes and differences change the way you look at your significant other, because for every negative there are three positives (and if this isn’t the case, then changes do need to be made!).
4. Know that adversity makes the relationship stronger.
It’s okay to agree to disagree, because challenging your partner is a healthy part of relationships. The arguments or disputes can actually help each other grow more sensitive to the others’ feelings and beliefs, causing a deeper understanding of your partner.
5. See things from their perspective.
Empathy is key when it comes to overcoming differences. Think about the way they were raised, their traditions and history, and other factors that may have shaped their beliefs. See things from their eyes, and try to think why they think the way they do.
6. Focus on the good aspects of your partner.
There are so many reasons why your partner is the love of your life- so why let a difference in political or religious belief cloud your vision of the future together? Focus on what makes you smile about your s/o, and make sure to remind them of these things regularly.
7. Do research. When it comes down to it, the issue at hand is often that not enough research has been done by either parties. It’s important to have factual information, and be able to clarify the source and exact statistic that you draw your statements from.
8. Fight fair.
And lastly, fight fair. Don’t take any more blows than necessary, and keep everything equal and reasonable. It’s not about winning, or even changing their beliefs – it’s about overcoming the differences to make the relationship stronger. It’s okay if your significant other and you don’t agree on everything, don’t ruin an otherwise perfectly good relationship because of a disagreement.