Resolution that Satisfies (Part 4)

There are many different possibilities for creating successful resolution and each of them puts fuel in our tank or relieves pressure when it becomes excessive. With the key guiding question, “What do you need right now?” the following list provides some clear options that can be chosen to meet the need within the speaker’s soul.

This week we’ll look at the value of learning to tolerate disagreement and negotiating compromise for creating resolution that satisfies.  

Agree to disagree:  “While we still do not agree on this I do feel like we understand and accept one another.”

It never ceases to amaze me when I see Mary Madeline and James Carville on CNN together.  They are husband and wife, yet Mary is a raging conservative and James is a raging liberal.   Somehow, they still love each other and it would be a story worth learning more about.

They have learned the secret of allowing differences in their relationship.  I’m sure they sharply disagree on many subjects but they don’t destroy each other over it. It is important for all of us to allow our spouses, associates and children to have differing and opposing views without rejecting them or annihilating their personhood. We are distinct and separate creatures and allowing others to be different is a hallmark of security.  So, stretch yourself and agree to disagree.  With this type of resolution, others will feel safe around you.

Negotiation:  “I need for us to find some middle ground or a compromise on this!”

This is a tough one, how and when to compromise?  For some attachment styles such as pleasers and victims, they seem to always be the one who yields and gives in because they fear reprisal and rejection. When this happens, one person is lost, eclipsed or annihilated. Life becomes unfair, lopsided and certainly not a reciprocal relationship.

Others seem to always get their way such as controllers, vacillators and avoiders. These styles can be very hard to negotiate with, because they tend to see things as all good or all bad.  Therefore, with the choices so extreme, middle ground is often over looked.  Especially within a marriage and with parenting, it is important to fully hear the other person and find middle ground that takes into consideration each person’s concerns.  To be fully heard makes each of us feel more secure and willing to see things through the other person’s perspective.

Finally, be aware of staying balanced within the hundreds of decisions that are made every month. Controllers and vacillators need to learn to yield and not make every battle a hill to die on. They also need to bring their anxiety into the discussion so that the other person can reassure them that they wish to do no harm.  Pleases and victims especially need to realize that always yielding is not healthy either.  They need to be stronger and insist that they be heard. If not, they will not be respected by the spouse or children. So, when you negotiate, maintain balance and make sure that the playing field is even.

When we have slower more thoughtful discussions, in which we respect each other and allow differences, we have much deeper levels of resolution and we feel closer and more bonded.  This will enhance your marriage as well as improve your marriage.  

Thanks for listening,


Milan & Kay