"What you see depends on where you are standing" C.S. Lewis
As always C.S. Lewis gives us in a simple phrase, a profound statement offering much insight.
How many times do you find yourself disagreeing with your partner because you don’t see eye to eye - he says X and you say Y and neither of you can agree because you are convinced you are right but can’t convince your partner that they are wrong?
Have you thought that maybe you are both right? Because it depends uponyour viewpoint, location, experiences and beliefs. Are you, like most couples surprised to hear this? Here is a fun example shown during apresentation by couples therapist Ellyn Bader a number of years ago: Look up to the ceiling and trace a circle above your head with your forefinger in a clockwise direction, now slowly bring your hand down to level with your chest while continuing to trace your circle in the same direction, which way is your finger moving? Yes, the opposite direction! But nothing changed just your view point.
When you are able to listen to each other's point of view, you come to a place of understanding and validation of what you are both thinking and feeling. Individuals soften as they experience their partner taking the time to listen with acceptance and understanding.
Even though there is no requirement to agree with everything your partner is saying, just by being able to "stand where they are standing and see their point of view” healing can happen.
Helen Chadd is a Marriage and Family Therapist who works with couples under relationship stress and maintains a private practice in Livermore, California. If you want to learn more about how you can improve your relationship you can contact her at 805 387 3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org