The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but to hold hands – Alexandra Penney #quote
— Geek and Jock (@GeekandJock) January 19, 2012
Easy to say, challenging to do.
My second wife Pam and I are having quite a few challenges in the argument area lately and when I read the quote above, it made sense and gave me a few more thoughts on what I might think about doing, to improve our relationship.
You’re Going To Argue So Accept It
Personally, I think I’m reasonably ok in understanding how a relationship works.
That’s actually wrong of me, to do that though.
When I’m dealing with another person, it’s totally stupid of me to think for an instant that I’ll have the magic bullet.
I’m not a mind reader and it’s wise to let things play out to see where an argument leads.
They’re going to happen.
They happen when I least expect them and that has often got me bent out of shape.
For me and probably you, the surprise is the first thing that throws you off balance and into the downward negative spiral.
Understand You’re Stupid Too
There’s probably never a ‘right’ answer in an argument either.
Though one possible answer to the situation is to compromise through understanding the other person.
Well, it’s both humbling as well as giving space to negotiate and reevaluate both sides.
You both can take a step back, breathe and look for a balance in the emotions and facts of what each person is endeavouring to convey.
You Both Win And Why
What’s the reason you’re in this relationship to begin with?
Let’s really hope you understand that it includes some of these reasons:
- Two is better than one for success
- You’re two individuals in a partnership of one unit
- You want your partner to know everything about you
- There are no secrets
- You both strive for better communication with the other
- Relationship transparency is vital
Disagree with Respect
As I said before, I have got bent out of shape with disagreements.
I need to learn a better way.
Some of you might be in that same situation right now.
I found myself thinking I was being disrespected by Pam.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing.
Obviously this probably wasn’t the case but in the moment, it’s the strong sense of being the case hence the negative touts and subsequent negative vibrations.
Time to change that behaviour.
Gaining the realization that I needed to move out of this pattern, it was now time for a conscious determination to rethink. While I’m reasonably casual with most things, arguments is certainly an area requiring a shift in my thought paradigm.
I desired this to happen and that needs me to make a concerted effort.
Being mindful of this is a fantastic first step. I now stifle the previous desire to react and don’t.
With that few seconds of breathing space, my mind and thoughts now have more calm and to throw off the situation as trifling and petty.
You’d be surprised how this defuses the situation and pulls it back to where it needs to be – a ‘nothing’ situation. It doesn’t need to be said that harmony is far more consistent, leading to more love, more happiness and the ability for the relationship to grow and mature better than what it had been in the past.
It’s OK But Still Hold Hands
It’s OK to disagree as that’s how things will get out in the open. That’s a realization just in itself.
What’s holding hands do though?
- Make peace.
- The other knows you’re serious about getting on with getting on and fixing and making things good for you both.
- Your physical negative energy simply evaporates with the physical touch
Speak Your Mind, With Your Opinion
Nice to see you made it to the end of the post. Here’s what you can do next:
- What’s one positive thing you think an argument brings to a relationship?
- Click one of the Share buttons – your friends can then enjoy this article too.
And thanks for reading too – Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
15 thoughts on “The Ultimate Test Of A Relationship”
Great article! I really liked the part about holding hands during a disagreement. It’s always important to try to connect in a loving way even though you may be at odds. A loving touch can remind you both that this person loves you and wants the best for you. Thank you for sharing.
So wonderful for your visit and you participating in the conversation too!
Holding hands during a disagreement is easier said than done, let me tell you :)
It’s a conscious decision to act differently, looking to gain a different outcome, I think.
Arguments in a relationship are always a little stressful and it does take, for me anyway, a mindful willingness to get it resolved as best as we can, for everyone’s benefit.
How do you handle them yourself?
I agree that respectful arguing is key. My partner and I are both very smart, well educated people. Therefore we have very heated arguments, with evidence! However we have learned that sometimes we can both be right (or wrong). As long as we agree on the big things, the little things can slide. Communication is key, however.
Great concept. In relationship we can never feel happy as always because sometime there can also be other things that can make an argument. And it can help us to prove how strong our relationship is. My aunt always tell me that in one relationship, you need the positive and negative side to work. Such a pleasure to find your blog and leave comments like this.
My recent post Glock Sights
Thanks for your comment, Tracy.
Yeah, relationships certainly are around balance. Disagreements are just another challenge to work out to become stronger too. Thank you for your visit and kind words.
My recent post How Fighting Can Actually Be Good
No matter who you are, what you do, and whether you like it or not, you are in a relationship with them and in most cases will always be in some kind of relationship with them for as long as you are both alive, so enjoy, accept, and get use to it now.
Too true, Jimmy.
Love those last words too – 'enjoy, accept and get used to it' :)
My boyfriend always thinks he's right!! I can't seem to get him to stop, he wont stop arguing. If I don't let him "win" then he will continue and continue….I don't know how to get him grow up and stop arguing, he argues with everyone.
Thanks for the visit, Steph
You know, all men have an internal drive to compete and win. It's unfortunate but also true. Have you actually asked him directly about his behaviour on always seemingly having to win every discussion? Is he aware he does this with everyone?
My recent post Why Complicate Life?
Great advice! Holding each other's hands when arguing – like what you said, so easy to say but so hard to do. Thank for that great tips! I think I should be doing that too. I just watched a great video from Marie Forleo about relationship tips too and what to avoid to make a relationship work. It's interesting really. http://marieforleo.com/2011/01/im-sorry/
Thanks for visiting our patch of the web, Grace and wonderful you also shared your thoughts in commenting.
It is certainly challenging sometimes in letting go of old habits to embrace new ones so we're able to improve on what we currently have.
Thanks to for the Marie Forleo article about relationship tips – nice read.
Look forward to more of your thoughts on some of our other blog articles too.
It was with A., a very volatile partner, that I first noticed the rock. When she got angry, I wouldn’t let myself get dragged in. I would not let myself be affected by it. Certainly there were times it went on so long that I reacted in anger at the whole mess, but in general, I could just let it wash over me, could wait it out, be a rock in the stream. It was a revelation to find this place.
Nice to see you back, Phil. I trust Maude and you had an awesome New Year too.
Great to hear your story on your previous relationship. I find it comforting to see others having been in similar situations and grown from it. We're all on a path to relationship evolution. And evolution has it's ups as well as downs. Hopefully, there's always more ups though :)
Loving the new site, Martin.
On the post, I'd have to say I'm always tripping over my own feet when it comes to arguing with girlfriends. Maybe it's the testosterone or I'm just too stubborn and pig-headed.
I get your point on taking a deep breath and resisting that first impulse to bark back. So many times that instant first reaction simply stuffs up the best chance to understand her and forgive and forget. Most are just small things but look big at the time.
Good reminder too that we're here on this earth for harmony instead of stupidity and anger.
Good to see you back on deck, Mitch (pun intended since you're a sailing guy)
I've been in exactly that same situation as yourself, mate. Tripping over my feet and getting all negative when the answer was to simply take a deep breath for 5 seconds and aim towards resolution as opposed to 'winning at all costs' – there's never any winning anyway.
Love the comment on 'we’re here on this earth for harmony instead of stupidity and anger.' – that's a great reminder in itself. Kudos.