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Men and women are different! It doesn’t matter what these differences are based on—gender or personality—or where they come from. What does matter is that we recognise that men and women often have differing views on most issues.  Couples need exceptional communication skills to move past the differences between them. Unfortunately, few people possess these skills, and even fewer understand the need for them.

I believe that in order to successfully function as a “unit”, individuals must come to accept each other’s perceptions and acknowledge that it is okay to see things differently. As well, we need to recognise that those differences are strengths. It is important that each individual in a successful couple respect both their own position and that of their partner.

By contrast, some inappropriate responses to your partner’s difference of opinion or perception would be to argue that either “You accept my perception as the correct one or you are not acceptable to me”, or “I will work at changing you, to have you see and accept the ‘best’ way, which happens to be how I see things!”

These arrogant responses put a great deal of pressure on a relationship. They reflect an attitude that says I have the Universal Truth. The relationship then becomes about power, where whoever is louder and longer or colder and more sullen wins.

However, there should be no “winner or loser” in a relationship because then we have two losers. Therefore, it is of prime importance that we accept our partner’s differences and realize that they are not out to get us. Rather, that our partner possesses a treasure trove of fundamental values and beliefs that need to be respected and worked with, not changed. Everybody is different, and that’s okay!