Why do simple disagreements turn into ugly arguments?
A disagreement can easily evolve into a full blown argument when our heart’s call for love, attention, and approval is unheard and unmet by our partner. That’s when the call for love shifts into a ‘whose right, whose wrong’ battle with full trumpets blaring. The energy of our needs and desires transmute into finger pointing daggers of blame. The more we try to prove our point, the louder the return protest becomes. Nothing gets resolved and the feelings of aloneness and separation escalate from there.
GOOD NEWS! Disagreements can actually be HELPFUL to your relationship.
Disagreements force each of us to stretch our perspective and sometimes leave our comfort zone. Successfully wrestling through our differences can lead us into a deeper, more enduring love with our partner. As Victor Hugo said…“The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves” Learning to tenaciously hold onto love with an open heartedness as we resolve our differences helps us to step through the illusion of who we want our partner to be and expands our acceptance and love of who they really are.
What can my partner and I do if we can’t resolve our disagreement?
Sometimes, when we’re embroiled in a disagreement, we get stuck. All creative solutions fly out the window and all we feel is hardness and rigidity. The most important agreement to have when you are disagreeing or stuck in a power struggle is that you won’t yell or berate each other, and that you will be nice and treat each other with the utmost respect, no matter what. Then, it’s important to begin the process of what David Deida calls ‘unguarding your heart.’
“Unguard your heart, over and over, even when you don’t want to—
especially when you don’t want to.
Continue practicing many short moments of total surrender.
Eventually, the habit of guarding wears thin,
and your heart is courageously exposed to the world,
shining with great brightness and demonstrating
a perpetual willingness to suffer others’ oblivious rancor without closing.
Love prevails. But it takes practice.”
The return to closeness, agreement and good feeling warm and fuzzy connected love is not going to happen until you let down the shields, melt your body armor and hear the underlying calls for love (your own and your partner’s).
HEARING YOUR PARTNER’S DISGUISED HEART CALL
Usually whatever we are fighting about can be boiled down to one of the following bottom lines: ‘I don’t feel loved.’ “I don’t feel heard.” “I don’t feel understood.” However the call is being communicated, (sometimes disguised and distorted in fearful, crabby, angry, frustrated, blaming, annoying, and less than satisfying ways) it’s important to recognize that this is your partner’s heart calling for love, attention, reassurance, and/or approval. Feeling safe with one another comes from trusting that we are known, loved and accepted as we are. To successfully navigate and resolve whatever you are fighting about, you have to find within yourself the creativity, patience, understanding, and inner security to stop pushing away or against your partner and instead leaning IN saying “I’m here. I’m willing to hear you. I’m interested in what you have to say.” “Let’s work this out.”
MELTING YOUR ARMOR TO HEAR LOVE’S CALL
Here are some ways to begin the process of melting your own armor and softening the desire to annihilate vs. love each other!
The following process is very powerful to do together as a couple, but if your partner isn’t ready yet, then the most important thing you can do is to lovingly become present within yourself.
First, (this may be the hardest part) STOP DOING WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING to fuel the fires. Let go of any and all agendas, defensive posturing, cases to build, shame, blame or that “I just have one more important thing to say” that’s burning to be spoken or screamed. Look at each other and wait until you really SEE your partner. Then say, “All is well. This obstacle that we are encountering is here to strengthen our love and acceptance. We may be a little stuck right now but we’ll get through this! I love you.”
THEN, DO THIS….
Take some deep breaths and let out a sound that physically helps you to release tension from your body. Imagine the air entering and leaving through your heart area/center of your chest. Think of a calming word, such as love, peace, relaxation, joy, and slowly breath the energy of the word in and out, saying to yourself. “I’m breathing in… love. I’m breathing out… love. ” Do this until it feels true and your body begins to relax and center.
Tune into yourself and Assess Your Connection
Let yourself become aware of what it feels like inside your body to be stuck, angry, hurt. Give yourself your full attention.
Am I feeling connected or disconnected?
Where am I holding tension?
What am I saying to myself and/or out loud that creates separation?
How do I resist love?
Breathe deeply into the place in your body that most strongly holds your sense of separation and resistance to love. Lovingly and with full acceptance, breathe the energy of your chosen word into that place. The goal isn’t to make it go away or even change. It’s about honoring, accepting and listening softly.
Ask this part of yourself…
What do need right now?
What would you like for me to know?
What makes you feel most loved?
What makes you feel most safe?
What am I doing that makes you feel so separated and alone?
When we attune, listen to, and respond to our own love’s call it’s easier to hear our partner’s bid for love, no matter what the delivery system is.
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