Tests of Love Part 2

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One of the things I have learnt from my experience of being in a relationship is that disagreement is almost inevitable; however disagreement usually leads to a better understanding of each other’s point of view where there is genuine love. When you are in love with someone, it does not mean you guys will always see things exactly the same way and share similar opinions all the time. The reason for the difference is that men and women see things differently; you come from different backgrounds with different personality traits. If individuals from the same parents who grew up in the same environment with similar genetic traits could hardly perceive things exactly the same way, then being in love with someone from another bloodline and different upbringing should not be different. In their book The Marriage Book, Nicky and Silas Lee highlighted some of the differences that may exist between a husband and his wife which they categorised into:1. Extrovert and introvert- This relates to our energy source,2. Logical and intuitive- This speaks of how we view the world around us
3. Task-oriented and people oriented- the way we make decisions based on the information we received.
4. Structured and flexible- It has to do with whether we like plans to be drawn in advance or we like to be spontaneous.
5. Initiator and supporter- Whether we naturally prefer to lead or follow.
These and other factors underscore the inevitability of disagreement in marriage. Thus disagreement tests the strength of your love for each other, your ability to accept each other’s uniqueness and subsequently experience a harmonious existence in spite of these differences. Do you find it easy to forgive your mate, resolve the issue and move on or do you struggle with it? Conflict can either fortify your relationship or break it completely depending on how you handle it. However, I have heard couples say that they are in love and have never disagreed with each other at all. I am of the view that in such cases, someone probably bears the brunt; one of the parties is enduring some emotional hurts which could be expressed in another form. When that person cannot bear the pain any more, he or she could resort to fight or flight mode leading to either intense quarrel or break up. My advice to such couples has always been ‘ give it more time’. Disagreement makes you know the extent you are willing to go with this fellow or how much you can take from him or her. Nevertheless, genuine love makes forgiveness easy but infatuation and other forms of pseudo-love fade away in the face of misunderstanding. Short (2004) suggests that quarrels are usually common when it is not genuine love; little things could trigger a serious fight and it is usually severe when there are few things that hold the interest of the couple. In this case, the memory of painful disagreements outweighs the sweet moments. This kind of relationship usually breaks up; nevertheless if it progresses to marriage, it could result in a dysfunctional marriage unless there is a change of attitude which could ultimately lead to genuine love and commitment. However, the difference is that when love is involved, the disagreements tend to be less frequent and less severe due to better understanding of each other and how to manage conflict effectively. The stronger the foundation of the love affair, the less likely it could be destroyed due to misunderstanding no matter the intensity. Disagreement also tests the level of maturity of the individuals involved. Conversely, the forming stage of most relationships especially when the euphoric stage has waned, could lead to frequent disagreement even though the couple love each other but this reduces with time as long as they keep working on developing positive strategies for handling conflicts. The truth is that genuine love rarely quits in the face of conflict but the contrary is the case with mere feelings or infatuation.

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