Happy couple embracing and laughing on the beach

There are of course many things that can make or break a relationship. Often the difficulties you experience are there because each partner has different opinions, lifestyles and ideas.

Different values and norms

Our family and our early life shapes us more than we may realise. What is acceptable in your family may be frowned upon in your partner’s family.  This will be even stronger with different class, religious and cultural backgrounds. It can leave you feeling angry, upset or misunderstood. 

How can you bridge this?

So when you come together as two unique individuals with ideas, opinions and moral codes that may be very different, how can you bridge this?

Being friends is a good basis to build your relationship on. As friends you will feel friendly towards your partner and are likely to trust and respect each other. Building trust and respect is important, it is the glue that keeps you together.

Building trust

Being open with each other, sharing your thoughts, feelings and emotions brings you closer together and builds trust. The more you trust each other the easier it will be to be with conflict. When you can see your partner as a fundamentally good person instead of the enemy, you are less likely to blame them. You may still disagree but will be able to find a solution that suits both of you sooner.

Respect your differences

When you can respect your partner as the unique person they are, including their quirks, you will be less likely to criticise them.  Realising they are different and may do things differently from you gives perspective. You may still get angry and have arguments but knowing you trust them will prevent you from getting into a blame game.

When you are aware that your partner is the unique person they are, you can offer your partner a ‘bridge’ when things are heating up. You can say something that lightens the situation rather than put more oil on the fire and see it go down into a negative spiral.

Remember that criticism and contempt will slowly erode your relationship. Once you are well down this road it will be hard to build the trust and respect up again.

Moving towards each other

So when you next have an argument and it could potentially explode, remember that you are different individuals with your own quirks. Maybe you can use your quirky side to deflect the heat of the situation.  This will help you  move towards each other and resolve the conflict in a constructive way.


If you are struggling with the difficulties in your relationship I help guide you through this. Underlying dynamics often keep the struggles in place and I help you become aware of these and release them.

I offer a free 3o minute consultation which you can book here.