The fact is you should ask and cherish the opinion of your spouse. It’s crucial if you want to reach intimacy level #3. According to Matthew Kelly’s Seven Levels of Intimacy, it’s also the first obstacle couple’s encounter in their quest for an intimate relationship.
What we experience, read, the type of education we receive shape our opinions in drastic ways. In contrast, our opinions are by no means stagnant. They change over time. What we must also keep in mind is that our spouse has lived a totally different live, and therefore will have a totally different opinion on certain things and they will also change.
You may ask how can these opinions affect our relationship.
By not respecting the fact that your partner may have a difference of opinion. We spend most of our energy trying to defend and convince the other that our opinion is the right one. In order to maintain superiority over our opinion we do one of two things. We either argue our point to the cows come home or we defuse the situation by using jokes, changing the subject or diversion to keep us from possibly changing our opinion and losing what we feel is a position of authority. Either way, this type of relationship over time takes its toll and you eventually drown and revert back to a relationship of clichés and facts.
STRIVERS! Do you want to drown, in boring clichés or facts or would you prefer to rise above the waves to this level of intimacy?
If you choose the latter, you must reconcile one of some of these issues below in your mind.
- All relationships have unresolvable issues. I am a relationship coach and even my PG and I have unresolvable issues. The unresolvable issues are due to the differing opinions and expectations of our lives. The same thing goes for you and your partner. So I ask you,”Would you rather be right, or just be?”
- Instead of creating gridlock of trying to be right, make a choice to develop a common goal and work together. Developing a couples’ mission statement in this stage is crucial because it brings clarity and a reference point to all conversations.
- Make the leap to accept your partner for who he/she is. Important in this step is accepting yourself for who you are. In my discussions with clients, I have seen them develop a real sense of resentment in their spouse because they reflect something they see in themselves they don’t like. Active listening to truly understand someone’s opinion, instead of jumping in to defend yours helps diminish the opportunity to judge and criticize our partner so they can feel accepted.
- Open your mind and heart. Some things in life can’t be explained. If you are one that has to understand and have an explanation for everything that happens in your life, it will leave you at a disadvantage to achieving true intimacy. By opening your mind and heart you remain open to new ideas and opinions. This doesn’t mean you suppress the one’s you have, you just allow yourself to accept and recognize your partner has his/her own.
So even if you don’t ask for your partner’s opinion, it’s vital that you hear it. If true intimacy is what you seek.
Have a great day, STRIVERS.