Here's How To Handle Agreeing To Disagree With Your Partner If You Don't See Eye-To-Eye
Relationships can be wonderful in many ways. On some days, it feels like your life is a fairytale. You (hopefully) have found someone you truly love to spend the rest of your days with and, suddenly, you understand what all of those cheesy love songs on your Spotify playlist are really about. But, of course, there are also days where your romance doesn't quite feel like it belongs on Ariana Grande's "Sweetener." Sometimes, it feels like the two of you are living on different planets. When this is the case, it's important to know how to handle agreeing to disagree with your partner.
As nice as it would be to live in a world in which my partner and I manage to see eye to eye on every single topic, the fact of the matter is that we are vastly different people who are, at times, going to butt heads. There are some topics we simply will never agree upon. For a long time, I had no idea how to handle these situations. I thought we had to be on the same page about everything or our relationship was screwed. Two years down the line, I'm here to report that I was wrong. Really wrong. Disagreeing on things can be good! Obviously, you don't want to be disagree about everything, but dating your carbon copy would be a total drag.
The key is learning how to deal in those moments where your partner is being especially frustrating. The ladies of this Reddit AskWomen thread have some great advice for how to handle agreeing to disagree. I've included their best responses below.
See the best in your partner.
Be committed enough to the relationship not to let an off day ruin it. Believe that the other person has the best intentions, and forgive them when they fall short of your expectations.
Accept the fact that they could just be having an off day.
If I can tell he's in a mood (usually about work or some family sh*t), I'll ask him if he needs anything, ask if I can give him a hug, then let him know I'm here if he needs to talk before peacing out and going about my business. I'll check in if I'm eating to see if he wants some food, otherwise I leave him be. I have those days too. It took me a while to get over my impulse to fix everything right away. I can accept it now. Giving someone space to deal with what they're feeling is better than pushing too hard and things getting snappy.
Let them tell you what they need.
I ask him if he needs me to hang out with him, or if he needs me to do my own thing while he "introverts" for a while. He tells me, and then I do that. This only works if your partner is self-ware enough to know what they need for self-care. At this point, I know him well enough to guess what he needs, but when we first moved in together I needed him to expressly tell me how he wanted to process. If he gets cranky with me, I usually just let it go unless he's being a real jerk; we've all had those days where our patience runs thin and we don't always communicate kindly with people. If I do feel like it's something I need to bring up, I say something calm and short "Hey, I know you had a rough day today, but please try not to snap at me." He's a good guy, and that's all it take for him to apologize and adjust his attitude, OR to take some time to himself so he can calm down.
Have a constructive conversation about your feelings.
I had one today with my husband. How I rectified it was that I mulled over the issue with some good podcasts and songs, then I called him and said: "Baby I love you but you know how you assumed X? It made me feel like you didn't consider my feelings about the matter. I know you, and I know those weren't your intentions. But that's how it made me feel, etc."
He apologized, we reiterated we loved each other and how we make mistakes (God knows I do often!). Later when we saw each other again we cuddled. It's important to talk about feelings in a constructive way, and to never forget that our partners are the most important/are loved even though they make mistakes.
Make sure you're in a calm place before discussing.
Ride it out. If it goes away because one or both of you was cranky, let it go. If it doesn’t go away, take time when you are both calm and talk through it.
Know how to apologize and know how to forgive.
With a lot of forgiveness and apologies. It’s kind of unspoken at this point of our relationship (10 years). We just know when one is just blowing off steam from a bad day or something. If husband is acting crabby, I don’t react because I understand he’s just in a mood. He senses that I’m letting him be angry and after a bit, he’ll check himself and settle down. It takes work on both ends. A lot of pride-swallowing and compromises.
Recognize when it's time to stop talking things out.
I avoid talking things to death. I used to do this, thinking it was "good communication", but realized it really was just me (or my SO) reiterating my feelings over and over as if he didn't understand. It's not always easy, but something I've realized is — once we've taken some time/space, and we've each said our piece and actually listened to the other, it's ok to not agree 100%. Don't keep talking to try to get there. You've both been heard. Move on. Obviously if this is something that's a really critical issue, then this doesn't apply. But I've found a lot of "off days" come from issues that aren't that big of a deal, and if I step back and really give my partner the benefit of the doubt, I'm just left with my own dissatisfaction which I can handle on my own.
Also, I like to book some quality time after a period of off days for us just to be relaxed/silly/sexy together and reconnect.
I really hope you can take the advice of these ladies to heart next time you find yourself in one of those how-could-you-possibly-not-understand-what-I'm-trying-to-say moments with your bae. Trust me, I know from personal experience how hard it can be to just let things go every now and then — but seriously, it can be worth it.
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