I don’t understand you.
But I want to.
We can’t just LEAVE it there.
One of the biggest causes of breakup is when misunderstandings stretch and stretch for loooong periods of time.
The partner who doesn’t understand doesn’t make ANY effort to TRY to understand.
Each partner stays on their own side.
Not out of bad intentions.
BUT THEY ARE STUCK.
In their own patterns.
In their own HEADS.
And when there is an unwillingness to work THROUGH that stuckness, pain is inevitable.
It’s easy to believe that agreeing with your partner’s point of view has to mean YOURS is wrong.
BUT THAT IS A BIG FAT LIE.
RIGHTEOUSNESS takes the gold medal.
Both partners are now out of the game.
Because when one partner feels deeply misunderstood, BOTH PARTNERS WILL SUFFER.
I will say this again.
Because it one of the most important lessons I have learned.
And it’s important I share it with you.
1-You being right and your partner being wrong will never feel good.
Some of the saddest moments of my life have been fighting to be right about a perspective and then watching my partner surrender to that and have to give up their perspective.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
It’s important for YOU to also feel understood.
But there is room for both.
There is room for two golds.
This may be the cheesiest analogy I have ever written...but BARE with me here.
Since boxing is the sport of the week, I thought I’d just roll with it.
2-When we feel resistance to understanding our partner, there is a particular CORE BELIEF that is getting in the way.
What really stops us from really understanding someone?
I believe it’s FEAR.
If I leave my world and fully enter yours for a MOMENT, what will happen?
If I leave my world, will I lose myself?
If I leave my world, will I have to change my own beliefs?
If I leave my world and be vulnerable enough to taste the unknown in yours, will you USE it against me one day?
If I leave my world, will I have to FEEL the pain that you are feeling?
How do you BRIDGE the gap between not understanding your partner and UNDERSTANDING them?
Do you ask questions?
Do you LISTEN to the answers with your heart?
Do you talk to people that will lovingly support you to see your partner’s point of view?
Do you express your own sadness about not understanding them?
Do you show them THAT feeling?
What happens for you during the in between?
Before the bridge of understanding is crossed?
3-Underneath our resistance to understanding our partner, there is often a piece of GOLD.
When we RESIST understanding our partner’s perspective, perhaps that means there is gold there.
Perhaps there is some deeply rooted belief system waiting around to be shaken up a bit.
And let’s not fuck around here, that is scary shit.
But soon, empowering too.
So let’s start with where we are.
“I don’t understand you yet, but I want to.”
“Maybe there is something blocked inside of me that is closer to what you are experiencing than I realize.”
“I want to understand every part of your world.”
“I admire your perspectives even if they are different than mine.”
“I have so much to learn from you, even as I know that feels very scary for me sometimes.”
Whatever our version is, perhaps we can speak to that.
And then maybe we can leave it alone for just a little while.
Maybe then, we can see if this new heartfelt vulnerability softens the misunderstanding.
Maybe it buys us some time to do some self- reflection to find our own gold.