The title to this article is a representation of the miscommunication that couples often experience, whether they have been together for some time or are relatively new to the scene. There are mitigating factors at play when two people get together - factors that sometimes hinder them - not from being able to hear but being able to really listen to what their partner is saying. One of those factors is pride.
Pride keeps otherwise sane and intelligent people from reacting and communicating appropriately to disappointing situations. We want to believe in our gut instincts and we want to listen to our heart first and foremost. The heart can sometimes sweep the body with stronger emotions than the brain is able to transmit, inhibiting our self-control. Pride tells us we know what we're doing and can make good, sound decisions, even when our mind and heart are flooded with extreme emotions, blinding us to reality like a fog.
When you begin a new relationship, the newness of it, the unfamiliarity, is what drives us on. We want to know more about this fascinating person we have just met. It is human nature to go toward what attracts you. Unfortunately, this fascination really does slide on the rose-colored glasses, holding us back from seeing the whole picture, with the dark as well as the light.
Fast forward a few months and if you have been spending the majority of your time with this person, you have gotten to know them much, much better. You start to see what's inside, the hidden characteristics that new love never sees. How you react to the "real person" will determine your true feelings for them. Are you having trouble communicating? Will you be able to discuss the problems that come up in a reasonable and intelligent fashion? Or are you going to accuse them of having "changed" and try to "change" them back? Here's a quick tip for you. Once the "new love" feeling wears off, trying to change your partner won't make that come back. They are still the person you fell for, you have just removed the glasses and can now see the whole picture.
So let's say that you've discovered your partner is not the same kind of arguer you are. By this, I mean they have a different style of communicating (or not communicating) when they get upset. Some people choose to use their fists as a form of debate. Avoid this type of person at all costs. Some close down and refuse to speak at all. Still others talk nonstop until they are satisfied the other person has gotten the point (Keep in mind some people are not able to be satisfied).
You are not going to change your partner. Don't try. It won't work. Instead, look in the mirror and have a long talk with yourself. What can you do to change the situation? Don't let your pride get in your way. Open up the communication by adjusting your "arguing style" with that of your partner. If your pride is telling you "There's nothing wrong with me! He/She is the one with the problem!", you are mistaken. There is always something you can do to change the situation, even if that means admitting that the relationship is not working out and that it is time to move on.
But is it possible that you might need to speak a little softer when you are debating your side? Do you need to strengthen and exercise your self-control? What would happen if you were quiet for a moment and just listened?
On the other side of the spectrum, do you close yourself off and refuse to listen to the other person? Once you have said your piece, do you turn away and put up a wall?
Whether you are an outspoken arguer or a brick wall arguer, take the time to reverse the situation for a moment and think of it from your partner's point of view. Is what they are saying true but you don't want to hear it because it doesn't fit with your wants/desires/needs? Are you being respectful to them and their needs while expecting them to do so for you? Or are you being rude and disrespectful? Communicating on a level of mutual respect is essential if you want to make any progress.
Of anyone in your life, your partner deserves the benefit of the doubt. There is no need to be a complete fool and let your partner take advantage of you but during an average argument about finances/food/health concerns or any topic that comes up in a form of debate between you - be respectful. Speak calmly. Remember your love for your him or her while you are arguing. I know it's hard. I continue to work on this in my own life regularly. But if you love the person you're with, it's worth it.
Think of it this way. If you are able to change your behavior and attitude when you argue, your partner might see it and want to make a change for the better, too. It's worth a try, if you still want to maintain your relationship. Instead of trying to be the winner, let love win.