Sonya Thomas lcsw

Navigating Gridlock

Gridlock in a relationship is optional.  Sadly though, it is all too present in many relationships, and shows up when partners cannot effectively deal with their opposing ideas, views, desires, values, proclivities, etc.  It is a given that when we partner up, we will inevitably be faced with navigating our differences.  Those who gridlock around them display the below characteristics:

  • They’ve had the same argument again and again with no resolution.
  • Neither of them can address the issue with humor, empathy, or affection.
  • The issue is becoming increasingly polarizing as time goes on.
  • Compromise seems impossible because it would mean selling out—giving up something important and core to their beliefs, values, or sense of self.

The masters of relationship navigate their perennial issues with a different set of characteristics, which keeps them from gridlocking around their differences.  They course correct to avoid getting stuck.  In a relationship, course corrections might take the form of accepting that you are different and that each person is entitled to their uniqueness; remembering you like each other, and making temporary compromises.  They acknowledge each others reality without being hurtful, dismissive, or disrespectful. They understand that in life and in relationship, no one gets their way all the time. They accept that they will have to, at times, inconvenience themselves for the greater good of the relationship.  When both partners are committed to the above, then navigating through differences becomes an act of strengthening relationship rather than tearing at the fabric of it.

Until next time, peace.