We’ve all been there: you suddenly realize that you and your partner disagree on something that you think is pretty “major.” Well, let Nikki Simpson explain why that can actually be a good thing!
As a couple who is passionate about relationships, Charlie and I apply our counseling knowledge to a lot of different aspects of our life together—including the TV shows we watch! A recent episode titled “Fifty-Three Percent” of ABC’s show Blackish discussed some difficulties in the Dre and Bow Johnson’s marriage. The title of the episode refers to the percentage of marriages that end in divorce. The episode, part of a 4-part series, discusses the difficulties and challenges of marriage. It was difficult to watch in that viewers who are accustomed to a loving funny couple go through an extremely difficult time, one in that many couples in real life are facing.
At the end of the episode, the couple concluded that they see the world differently. While arguing over parenting choices over their youngest son, the couple spiraled into attacks on each other that led to no conclusion. After looking at the episode, I kept thinking about when they said, “we see the world differently”. I thought immediately “that’s okay”. Most of us see the world differently. In fact, that is what makes us all unique and interesting.
Here are three reasons why couples seeing the world differently is okay:
1. It Builds Tolerance
Understanding we are different makes us more tolerable of each other in times of conflict. Even outside our relationship with our spouse or partner, this is important. I’m more of an introverted, nurturing type. My husband, Charlie, is more of the extroverted and disciplinarian type. This plays a big role in how we parent. When we get upset about something the other parent has done or said, it’s helpful to remind ourselves that we just see things differently and we both are trying to do what’s best for our kids.
We recognize our personality types, especially in conflict. Instead of trying to change your partner to see things your way, recognize their way of viewing situations. Some of the things they do may seem illogical to you but it is completely logical to them. Talk about those things so when the next issue comes along, you will be steps ahead of the conflict.
2. It Builds Interesting Conversations.
Who always wants to be around people who agree ALL the time? Although some differences can be deal breakers (we will handle that topic another day!), a lot of our differences can be handled effectively. Maybe you like sports and your spouse likes the theatre. Maybe you like to try new foods and your spouse wants the same thing every week. It is okay to enjoy some of the things you like to do ALONE. Yes: on your own … without them. Then come back together and share something you were really enjoyed that day. Who knows, maybe next time they will want to join you.
Some cultural, religious or political differences may be difficult to get through, especially when it involves extended family. Discuss deal breakers and boundaries with your spouse also so they have a clear understanding of what may be a trigger for you.
3. It Builds Growth.
Some of us have been conditioned to see conflict as a bad thing. Without conflict, we do not grow and learn. Hard times have a great way of building experience and character in people. A lot of older couples will tell us that once we got over a life changing event in our marriage, we knew we could overcome anything.
As we get older, we will change. We won’t be the same people at 25 that we are at 40. Life has a way of changing who we are over time. Our preferences and perceptions may change. Talk often about those things that are important to you so that your spouse knows. Truth is, they may not know until you tell them.
Marriage difficulties and divorce are never easy topics. In the episode of Blackish, Bow and Dre sought the help of a marriage counselor. If you are at a place where you want to talk to someone about what you are going through, don’t hesitate to call us at the Relationship Center at 877-452-9515 or fill out a form today. If we aren’t able to help you, we will be happy to point you in the direction of someone who can!