Who’s Right? Men and Women Differences

In marriage and premarital counseling when discussing couple differences, I will sometimes do this simple demonstration.

I will hold my hand out palm to the groom and bride and ask them to describe it. I then describe my hand from my viewpoint.

Our descriptions vary slightly, so I ask which one of us is right. Of course, we are both right, we’re just looking at the same hand from different perspectives.

One of the benefits of listening to our partner is that it helps us see things from their perspective.

Listening means more than not talking. True listening that contributes to healthy marriages means listening in order to understand, and appreciate the viewpoints your partner has and understanding why they feel the way they do.

The Exercise:

Here are some questions and topics you can discuss and make sure to “hear out” your partner:

  • Is there a subject you’ve been discussing or arguing about where there is no right or wrong?
  • Do you think remembering the hand demonstration could help in a marriage?
  • How have you handled differences to this point in your relationship? Is it working well for you both?
  • How do you understand the difference between acceptance and agreement?
  • Other than the obvious biological differences between men and women, list and talk about the differences between men and women that you see in various areas.


Friendships outside of marriage

How to solve problems

Meaning of love




Physical attractiveness

Men and women brain differences – I’d love to be the fly on the wall to hear this discussion!

  • What are some other reasons beside the male and female differences that you may have different viewpoints on things?


Personality and individual differences

Family of origin differences

  • In general, can you think of any areas of difference a couple might have that would be a “deal-breaker” for you?

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61 comments to Who’s Right? Men and Women Differences

  • Matt Jones & Shelli Johnston

    We’ve learned from our experiences that we have to listen to each other and communicate all of our thoughts. If a topic becomes “heated,” we will walk away from each other and come back to the topic when we aren’t upset, angry, or mad. Yelling, fighting, or calling each other names does not solve anything and just makes our relationship weaker. It is very important to us that we do discuss “heated” topics but to make sure we are actively listening and communicating with each other. We know that there are times we do not agree on everything – that is what makes us different and compatible for one another. Agreeing on topics with both viewpoints is the key. Each person needs to have a voice in the relationship and have their voice heard too.

    One example of us communicating effectively and coming to an agreement both us like was about our wedding ceremony. Shelli is Catholic and wants to have our marriage recognized in the Catholic Church. Matt is not Catholic but knows it is important to her. They both wanted an outdoor wedding however the Catholic Church will not marry anyone outside from the Church. The agreement was having our wedding ceremony outside which is something we both wanted. Later, we will have our marriage blessed in the Catholic Church. This agreement was made by listening to each other and understanding each others feelings and opinions.

  • Andrew and Anna

    The two of us, while doing this exercise, realized that the biggest thing we argue about is arguing. Most of our arguments are small and more often than not inconsequential, but they tend to happen more than we like. Most of them are more frustration boiling over and one of us lashing out, but they tend to be about the everyday things that people face, ie dissatisfaction with jobs/money/living situations, and less about “bigger” things. We don’t like arguing, so mostly our arguments dissolve into arguing about why we are arguing.

  • thomas king and rebecca shreeve

    we agree that fighting and yelling are not ways to solve problems. we both know that we have to have patience with one another and at times agree to disagree. we do have very similar view points on alot of things. for instance, our views on children, sex, love, and having friends outside of marriage are very close to one another. we both know we want children but want to wait a while and enjoy ourselves as a married couple before enjoying ourselves as parents. our views on money have been tested before, but we are taking steps to be on the same page.
    to sum things up we know that we will not always agree on everything, but it is about respecting the other person’s view point. it is not about putting them down or not giving their opinion any credit. it is about finding a balance between the two of you.

  • Aldo & Beth

    Aldo and I have discussed all of the issues in the samples many of times… we talk everything out and make decisions together. We learned early in our relationship that being on the “same page” ALWAYS allows us to work together as a great team.

  • Nick and Ashley

    Nick and I have discussed many of these issues in the past. We have come to the realization that we actually feel very much the same on many different topics and that our individual similarities far outweigh our differences. We have had to learn to listen to each other and talk through our differences. We recently flipped a house together which really gave us insight into how each other handles problems and how to solve problems together and come to compromises.

  • K and D

    We don’t have a lot of right and wrong situations in our relationship. Facts are right or wrong and the day-in-day-out of our relationship has nothing to do with facts. Most everything is subjective and we generally agree there’s a good way to do something and there’s a better way to do something. Very rarely is someone’s way flat out “wrong”. We both make a living by problem solving and by nature we like to have more than one option for getting something done in case something doesn’t go according to plan. If we get mad, we don’t get mad at each other, we get mad at the situation. That being said, early on we talked about spending habits, career goals, family plans, personal hobbies and religion. Each of these topics had the potential for being a deal-breaker if we didn’t see eye-to-eye. Since we’re getting married (to each other) you can bet we’re on the same team.

  • Sese Bennett and Heather Horner

    Communication has been the backbone of our relationship from the very being. We were and still are honest with one another. Good, bad, ugly….it doesn’t matter. We share our opinions on families, religion, philosophy, money, etc. Sometimes we completely agree, sometimes we mostly agree, sometimes we are polar opposites. We discuss this similarities and difference with the same passion. That is one of the amazing things about our relationship. We may not agree on a topic, but we respect the others views as well our own.

  • Stacy Robertson and Duane Robnett

    There hasn’t been any issues we’ve been fighting or arguing about where there is no “right answer.” We pretty much just sometimes agree to disagree. The hand demonstration definitely helped us. We both respect that we have different points of view and we don’t have to see things the same way. In fact, it kind of makes things cooler since we’re not exactly alike. So far we have handled differences by discussing it, and saying why we feel a certain way. Usually we’ll give each other a little space and make sure to tell each other “this isn’t a fight, but we need to talk about this because it’s important.” It’s been working well. There is still things we both want to see each other improve, but since we see each other trying it makes things easier. We love when we agree! But we also understand we won’t always agree on everything, but if we want to stay together there’s certain things we have to accept. For instance, one issue that we differ on is our religious views. We don’t agree, but at the same time we love each other enough that we accept we have different views and just try to make sure not to talk about it too much or definitely put the other person down. Besides that, we thing we get along really well since we both are considerate of each other and care about each others feelings.

  • Heather and Alex

    Alex and I are fortunate to agree on the fundamental issues dealing with our relationship. We come from different backgrounds and cultures so it has been important for us to listen to each other and talk about anything that comes up. Most of the time if we have a disagreement, we are able to talk it through and compromise.

    While we enjoy spending a lot of time together, we also realize that we need to have time to be with our friends. Alex and I trust each other and respect the friendships that we have.

  • Connie Noward and Barry Thiessen

    Communication has always been a struggle for us. We are finding that communication is the most important tool for us to keep our relationship moving forward. We are finding that hearing and listening are two different things. I can hear him all day long but not listen to what he is saying and there are times that I know he is hearing me but not listening to me. We are finding that it is important to stop and listen instead of spending the time your partner is talking thinking up what you are going to say when they shutup. If we can’t do that we need to separate for awhile and come back to the topic when it is not so heated.

  • Michelle and Jeff

    This was a great discussion with lots of laughs because we are on the same page. We argue over things like my pet peeves and how they can be irrational. But we also know that I recognize how this is illogical and I am working to better myself. The hand demonstration is useful because it is a reminder how we have different perspectives on things and that we need to respect each other and work together to come to a compromise. We handle differences by discussing them without letting our emotions take control of the conversation. If we get upset, we take time to cool off and then logically think about what happened and how we can solve the issue. It is working very well. We recognize that we cannot respond the way we used to respond in previous relationships. WE have to make the conscious choice to act differently. There have been some serious issues arise in the relationship but we do not let them break our relationship. Instead, we use the experience to strengthen our relationship and use those differences in a positive way. Acceptance is understanding we don’t agree but that we respect each other’s opinion. Agreement is being in total compliance with one another’s opinion. Women are more openly emotional and passionate where as men are less emotional and can compartmentalize the different aspects of their lives. For women, if we have a bad hair day or didn’t get our morning coffee, our day is ruined and everyone better watch out. This is a generalization, but you get my point, women can let their emotions (and hormones) have more control over their actions than men allow. Jeff and I agree on the differences between men and women concerning the listed topics above. We have learned that it is all about communicating with each other and being wholly honest. We had similar childhoods and we want that for our children. We want to be financially stable so we never have to tell our children they can’t participate in something because of the lack of funds. Granted, money is not the driving issue on child rearing and we have discussed religious and social attributes we want our family to have and to honor. Jeff’s deal breaker is for a woman to not want kids. My deal breaker is for someone to be complacent and to lack motivation to better themselves and the world.

  • Edgardo and Hannah

    We have discussed a lot, and we have decided that communicating is one of the most important things in our relationship. We feel as if we do a great job communicating, but we know there is always room for growth no matter how good you are at it. Many of these topics we have discussed before, so we pretty much knew what each other would say. However, it was still nice to hear each other reconfirm our thoughts.

  • Taryn & Andy

    We found this very interesting to consider. Even in the very beginning of a relationship, you begin to notice similarities and differences. It is very important to accept both. It feels great when your partner agrees with your opinions, views and even enjoys hobbies/interests similar to yours. However, it is necessary for us not to become annoyed with each other when a difference arrises on how we view things. We have found it easy to communicate our likes and dislikes, while avoiding spending wasted time trying to convience each other why one of us is right and the other is wrong(that we know gets us no where fast), instead, we have worked on really trying to appreciate how each of us views different aspects on life and we enjoy our differences, and similaries, so much more when we set out to accept them.

  • Michael and Terry

    We found this exercise very easy. We have always been the kind of couple that talks about everything–good or bad, without getting allowing it to become an arguement. The most important thing we learned from this exercise, is that we are each entitled to our opinion, and even though our opinions may not always be the same, we respect each other to know that we dont have to always agree, but to come to an agreement about the differences in our opinions is key. We both share the same views on the important topics in a relationship, and that at the end of the day, communication is of the utmost importance.

  • Joe and Tara

    This exercise allowed us to explore each other’s views on different topics. Although many of the topics and questions are things we have discussed before, it was great to revisit them. It reminded us of all of the things that we have in common and agree on, and gave us an opportunity to discuss the issues that we may not see eye to eye on. One of the things that we realized when we answered these questions is that we definitely do not have a problem communicating our views and talking through differing opinions.

  • Tish & Chris

    This exercise was very fun for us and was just an extention of something we have always practiced in our relationship, we discuss. We listening intently to each other and then express our viewpoints openly. I accept Chris and he accepts me for what we are and what we believe. That is part of what makes us love each other so much. We recognize we aren’t always going to agree 100% on everything. We also recognize we have some key differnces, but more that are very alike. Overall, we communicate and appreciate each other in a way that works well for us both. It is the best relationship either of us have ever been in. We have yet to have an argument like most would argue. We feel discussion is better. I really like the hand example, I think it will help us a lot in our relationship to remember that.

  • Jessica and Andrew

    We had a good discussion on the difference between acceptance and agreement. Many time one of us just needs to talk about our feelings and feel heard by our partner. In this situation, our partner needs to display acceptance of our feelings instead of arguing with them. Sometimes the goal can only be acceptance. Agreement is not always possible with feelings, and trying to get your partner to agree wit your feelings is dangerous territory!

  • Andy & Stacy

    We discussed a few topics that sometimes result in a disagreement. As a result of the discussion, we identified that the majority of the topics are trivial everyday things. We tend to get irritated when we are both in a hurry and the best way to avoid a disagreement is to have a PLAN in place. He will take care of certain tasks and she will cover the others. We do agree on the big topics but discussing the categories listed above was a great exercise.

  • Kimberly M. & Jeff L.

    We were both raised very differently, but through this exercise, we realized our similar perspectives on life, love, marriage, and children are all a result of our life experiences. We also acknowledged a wide variety of differences between men and women and how they approach problems, but through this exercise, we developed a greater understanding of each other’s side which should help with resolving our own disagreements in the future.

  • Katie and John

    We had a wonderful discussion on acceptance and agreement. It is often better feel as though you can be heard by someone and have your views accepted. When it comes to a partner, it’s good to learn how to accept things and not argue with them.

  • Tammy and Duke

    Duke and I have grown so much in our relationship, and learning each other’s ways of communicating. I’ve had issues with the way I’ve received information, in that I tend to take thins personally,and feel that the way the other person feels is somehow my fault. Being with Duke, and learning to communicate and understand that when he tells me how he’s feeling, it’s not something that is a direct reaction towards me. It’s his side of the “hand.” We never stop talking things through till we are both satisfied that we feel good about each other and where we are in our relationship. I understand that sometimes it’s ok to just accept that’s how he feels, and just listen. One of the key things that drew us to each other is the our views and opinions on how a relationship should look like were pretty much the same. I feel that if we could use the hand demonstration when we are feeling anxious or frustrated, that would alleviate having a heated discussion.

  • Dustin and Katie

    We don’t really have many all out “I’m right, your wrong” arguments. We both listen to each other when we discuss things and really focus on seeing things from the other perspectives. I (Katie) thought that the hand example was awesome. I think it will be a great thing to remember when our discussions start to slid more into arguments. As far as acceptance and agreement, we understand that although sometimes you don’t agree that you just have to accept something. Some of our more spirited discussions have ended like that.

  • Lindsey and Rhett

    We both feel that communication is extremely important and many of our past arguments stem from poor communication. Listening is a crucial part of communicating and equally as important as verbally expressing your feelings. For men and women, communication can be like a very long drive, there are multiple roads to take but they will all lead to the same destination. Establishing the road ahead of time and making sure each is comfortable with the journey is key to a solid foundation.

  • JoAnna & Dan

    This is a really good strategy of looking at different perspectives between two people. Sometimes we find that we completely disagree on something and it hard to understand the other persons view on it.

    We have actually been having that situation recently in regards to the wedding. He doesn’t think that its right for us to let our family spend so much money on the wedding when we could just get married in a courthouse, and I am the opposite. I want the grand wedding and accept the gift that they have given us.

    We have discussed it together MANY times and come to the conclusion that we are both right in one way or another and that “hind sight is 20/20”. We need to accept what we have been given and realize that sometimes we wont necessarily agree on whats right and that its okay, as long as we understand how each other feels and we don’t let it get in the way of our relationship.

  • Kelly and Larry

    We both agree that communication is the key to a strong relationship, when we disagree on something we each listen to one another without interrupting and we discuss what is the best resolution for the problem.
    Utilizing the hand demonstration will serve as a good reminder that we are each entitled to our own opinions, and we each have different perceptions.

    We believe it is important to accept what has been agreed upon as far as a resolution to a problem. Acceptance implies there has been a favorable resolution and an agreement implies there has been a mutual decision reached. We want all of our agreements to be favorable and acceptable to both people.

    Other than the obvious biological differences between men and women, list and talk about the differences between men and women that you see in various areas.

    We both come from different cultures; however we have discussed values and what we want to achieve in our personal lives (having children, where we want to live, finances) and career goals.

  • lacey emmons and justin cox

    wow I really like the demonstration with the hand because
    I know that the root of most of our arguement stem from justin and I trying to say the same thing just from different persectives. this really made sense to both of us for why this happens. after reading the strategies for conflict management and this page its really clear that for us really listening and repeating back what we think we heard the other say will solve alot of our problems before they ever happen. Great info and food for thought.

  • Mary Ann and Christoper Griffiths

    When discussing the topics our major differences we discussed are that our friends are very important outside of marriage and we should respect each others time. Deal breakers wold be children and religion for the both of us. We understand what each other needs and are on the same path. Though we may disagree about small things, for the bigger things we see eye to eye.

  • The biggest thing that Roy and I learned about our arguing is that we argue over something so small then get to arguing about the arguing. The thing that we learned is that even though we never let the other person walk away we don’t always talk about it. I love the fact that we have learned to communicate better and to be more honest about our feelings on the subject. I can see way less arguing in the future.

  • Maggie and Jason

    Jason and I argued a lot when we first got together, but 5 years later, we know each other’s buttons. We rarely argue about anything substantial because we have learned how to talk to each other. We know when to walk away and cool off before any further discussion. We have learned to fully listen to each other without interupption. We both understand that sometimes we need a little bit of time to ourselves or with other friends.

  • Raychel and Peter

    Through discussing the topics in the section, we have come to realize a lot of things. First of all, we have made many equal sacrifices in order for our relationship to grow. Being in a long distance relationship for 3 years, financially the two of us have made huge commitments to each other with frequent cross Atlantic visits to both the US and Denmark. This brings us to the realization that being from different countries, we often feel differently about many things which require us to discuss and compromise simply because of our very different cultural backgrounds. Luckily we tend to blend seamlessly into each other’s social and familial circles which has definitely removed a lot of potential stress from our relationship. I (Raychel) do however tend to be a bit more outgoing and assertive which can sometimes cause the need for us to reevaluate priorities in order to come to an agreement.

  • Amanda & Nate

    We had a wonderful time discussing “the hand” exercise. It’s so simplistic in nature, yet many years together, the underlying issue is still one of the most important affecting our relationship: we need to understand that in most of our arguments, we’re actually BOTH right – we simply need to see (and respect) the other’s point of view.

    We both come from families known for their stubbornness, so we’re already at a disadvantage genetically! ; ) We will actively seek to better understand each other’s point of view, and try to reconcile the differences in a way that we can both be happy with. One of our big problems whenever we get into an argument is that we don’t seem to allow ourselves “equal time” when explaining problems with each other. One of us feels like the other is going on and on, and we’re never going to get to “say our piece”, so we interrupt each other and often an understanding is never reached. We will make our best effort to make sure that each of us has sufficient time to explain our perspective on a disagreement.

    One final item is that after having been together for so long, we admit that sometimes, it’s easy to just fall into a routine and live life the way we’ve been living it. Like a house or a vehicle, we realize that our marriage needs periodic maintenance (at least!). We’ve probably had the best conversation in many years regarding our relationship because of this exercise, and we want to commit to read through various relationship advice books (i.e. Men are From Mars…) to continuously revisit these strategies for conflict resolution, and more importantly, to always have at the forefront of our minds the best ways to express our love for each other.

  • Alexander and Allison

    Allison and I had a great discussion about all of the things we have argued about in the past few weeks. We tried to look at everything and think of why we had argued about them objectively. Allison and I came to realize that while what we were arguing about felt important in the moment, at the end of the day it wasn’t something that we should become enraged over and feel as though we have to lash out. Even though our emotions can overrule our logical thoughts we should not let that become a reason for us to fight.

  • Shannon Brunner and Jason Lawson

    Shannon and I rarely fight and when we do it is either about my mom or her lack of planning things. We have learned to listen and try not to push each others buttons.

  • D & S

    Actually we had already discussed some of these topics. Maybe it is because we’re older that we understand the differences, and can appreciate them without trying to change each other. The hand exercise was a great example.

  • Richard & Sarah

    From the beginning, Richard and I have placed a great deal of emphasis on communication. We try very hard to be gentle and honest with each in nearly everything while respecting each other’s differing opinion. We recognize that issues can be more a personal preference than a right or wrong.

  • Richard and Sarah

    From the very beginning, Richard and I have placed a great deal of emphasis on communication. We have strived to be honest but gentle with each one another. We recognize and try respect that some issues are a matter of personal preference and not right or wrong.

  • Melisa Cline

    The only issue Richard and I really argue about is wasting money. Other then that, we have great communication and both of us are striving for the same goals and working towards them together.

  • Travis and Traci

    Since we started dating we really have related well on all levels of our relationship. We are both very strong, caring and emotional people. We do have some dissagrements once in a while but really don’t have arguments. We both understand the needs and wants for each other and for our kids. we both have the same desire to have fun together and love each other very much. At first it took sometime to understand each other and that it was harder for us to comunicate but now we find each other doing the oposite in that respect. We both can see it in our kids that we love each other and this family that is bonding toghter.

  • Chris & Natalia

    Communication is obviously key in any successful and lasting marriage. It is not a given and requires effort on both parts but is well worth the time and energy.

  • David and Kara

    One of the biggest arguments we have is over the timing of decisions. This tested us in the past several months as we had to make a quick decision about our living situation. We both had opinions of what we felt was best but we communicated and finally came to a decision we were both happy about. The hand demonstration could help us as we look at different viewpoints and understand we can both see things differently but neither is necessarily the correct answer.

  • Bob & Cindy

    Bob and I have been friends for many years before becoming a couple and we feel that this is an important element to a good marriage. We have learned over the years that although we will not always agree on everything but that we have to respect the other persons point of view.

  • Rene and Dave

    Dave and I have been together for 11 years so we have really gotten through most differences. We were both married before and have 8 children: Dave 5 and I have 3. The youngest is 21 and away at school. We have had few arguments. The ones we have had are either worked out through talking or we may just agree that we will never see it the same and respect each others opinions. Neither of us are very judgmental and both are very patient. We respect each other even if we don’t see things the same. In the last 11+ years we have had only one big disagreement. It took a couple of days and we came up with a compromise that we both agreed upon. Otherwise the rest has been small stuff and we dont sweat the small stuff.

  • David and I do think that remembering the hand demonstration will be good to remember when we disagree because it reminds us that although we are looking at the same thing, we may see it and describe it differently. Therefore, it is important to really listen when our partner is talking to better understand their point of view and not get caught up in what we think they are saying as oppose to what they are actually saying.

  • Hunter Earnest & Amy Mahoney

    Amy and I are middle-aged love birds and as such have learned much about life, love, and communication by making mistakes. I like the hand analogy and what it communicates. As a rule, the more intense disagreements become, the less one listens and instead works to prepare their next response. We recognize that our relationship is more important anything.

  • Kathleen Zizza

    Dominic & I have been together for 19 years. We have reviewed each topic and found that we are on the same page with most topics. We have gone thru many changes over 19 years and learned alot from each other. We have 5 children and have handled raising them different from each other and yet carrying the same goals. We have the highest respect for each other and take each day as a gift and cannot wait to bring our families together permanently. We are each other’s best friend.
    Our friendship is the most important part of our relationship.

  • Eric and Rachael

    Rachael and I have learned that communication is an important part of a relationship. Most of our arguments are caused simply due to the breakdown in that communication. We find that when we talk about any problems that we’re having early in their life cycle, we can avoid future confrontations entirely! That being said, even when we do have arguments, which happens in every relationship, we always talk through it until the underlying issue is solved.

  • Sue and David

    Sue and I believe that the hand demonstration is a valuable lesson. Even if we do not have the same opinion, there are multiple ways to look at the same topic. We need to remember, in the future, that both opinions are valuable and listen to one another when talking about a problem. Male and female differences can be a source of disagreement, but one important one we have found is growing up in different families. This is something that we have used to learn to communicate better with each other and work on actually listening to find a solution.

  • Aleah

    Brandon and I went through the exercises. We felt ahead of the game because we had listened to the audio book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” and had started seeing how we see things differently based on male/female. For example, Brandon likes to get to the solution of problems quickly, while I want to talk it out at length and figure out why the problem happened in the first place. We have learned to listen to each other better and have more empathy for the other person’s train of thought. Also, other couples may suffer greater differences than we do when it relates to religion, politics, children, money.

  • Thomas and Tiffany

    We actually don’t argue about things very often, but something silly that we’ve bickered about is how to properly dry dishes that come out of the dishwasher. Tiffany likes to take them out of the dishwasher, give them a good shake, and put them up in the cabinet. Thomas likes to take them out and dry them completely down with a towel. I think the hand demonstration helped us see that neither of us are right about how to do it, we just have our own preferred way. We talked about how it’s good to have perspective on each other’s lives and the fact that we are literally taking two separate lives and combining them into one. Thomas realized that each of us naturally have a resistance to “defending” our own ways simply because that’s the way it’s always been for us and a new perspective almost feels “wrong” because it’s foreign to him, even though it’s not. We talked about how we could handle this situation. If Thomas is emptying the dishwasher, he will do it his way and if Tiffany is emptying the dishwasher, she will do it her way. If we are doing it together, we will assess the situation. Are we trying to hurry because we are in a rush? We’ll do it Tiffany’s way. Do we have plenty of time with nothing on our schedule? Then we will take our time and do it Thomas’s way. This situation helps us understand the difference between acceptance and agreement. Acceptance is we “accept” the fact that each one of us are going to do it our own way and we are okay with that. Agreement is that we’ve agreed to come up with a better solution on how to do it together. Male and female differences may come into play here based on our individual personalities and the different families we grew up in. Thomas comes from a family of divorce and that makes him want something more stable for himself and future family/kids. Tiffany grew up with one set of parents all her life so that is all she knows. This exercise helped us discuss ways to overcome silly differences and how to view things differently.

  • Gail and Jerry

    We enjoyed this conversation and found that we really do share the same fundamental values. We both, from previous relationships, realize the importance of always trying to communicate about any issues, even if it can be difficult. We also agreed on what relationship “deal breakers” would be. The exercise was helpful in confirming that we are on the same page about things. 🙂

  • Aaron & Chelsey

    We never really thought that we had disagreements, however upon reflection we noted that things were a tidbit rough when we first started living together. After being close friends for years before dating and subsequently uprooting our lives to move to Nashville, we assumed that we knew each other’s quirks. With time, our communications have improved drastically and, although we may see things from different points of view, we respect those differences and find understanding. Do you stir pasta while cooking it or do you stir it once and let it sit? Both result in boiled noodles.

  • Nancy and Vinh

    Communication has always been the key to a successful relationship. We both learned this from previous relationships. When either of us have an issue, we always talk about it. We hardly argue or fight about anything. We have different views on certain things, but we respect each others views.

  • Tony & Tierra

    Subjects we don’t necessarily argue about, but that come up frequently were sex and friendships outside of marriage. I (Tony) chose sex. I have a really high sex drive and want to have sex almost daily, but also don’t just want it to be quickies and back to the normal life. I let Tierra know how I felt about it and why; she gave me possible reasons for her lower drive from time to time. I learned that having the same foreplay that I know she likes doesn’t get “boring” to her like I was assuming and I should just go for it instead of overthinking. She learned that she she should’ve communicated the foreplay to me previously. We both mentioned that we can’t just be on our phones in bed until *Boom* we’re in the mood, throw your phone down. We can work on building up to it throughout the day, so it doesn’t feel forced (like a we’re in the bed, have sex, go to sleep type thing).

    Tierra learned that Communication is key when having friends of the opposite sex outside of relationships. What’s possibly “assumed” still needs to stated and never a double standard. Being open about what has made either of us uncomfortable in the past (some far past) about some friendships that we’ve never gotten to the true meaning behind the issue. Put everything all out on the table and didn’t argue or get defensive!

    Deal breakers?
    -Religion (neither of us are religious people. We don’t mind religion, but couldn’t be with someone who was heavily involved in the church or was obviously working to persuade or recruit either of us into their beliefs.

  • Jessica and Nick

    Nick and I talked about all of these points many times before this course. It was a good refresher. We have both dated a lot and know ourselves well and what we want from a partnership. We know that our largest flaw is how we argue, and we have been working on that for the past couple of months. We agreed to have a safe word (we hardly argue, but the safe word is funny so when we are just not understanding each other, we can agree to come back to it after we feel less stressed). I think it is important to recognize a persons day when they are having a tone. Sometimes the words are normal but the tone is awful, because we project our feelings onto our partner. To be able to recognize that your partner is not actually mad at you, he or she is just upset in general and needs to relax before having any serious conversations, would save a lot of unnecessary battles. We also agreed that our humor is what keeps us from arguing very much in the first place. We are both light-hearted and silly. Even in a disagreement, we can laugh. Usually the big arguments happen over the phone (so we need to use the safe word to point out that we should talk in person and end the conversation) or when one of us has had a bad day at work and are just crabby. We both agree on how we want to raise our kids and that we have to grow and change together, not separate. Physical attractiveness is important to both of us and so we agree to healthy lifestyles and habits. Deal breakers are weak-mindedness (giving up instead of trying), and bad habits (smoking, gaining a ton of weight and not doing anything about it), overly drinking, etc. It is important to uplift our partner and enjoy life together, not fall victim to all of the many ways life can crush us and make our temporary time here miserable.

  • Angie Jenkins

    We don’t necessarily feel as if we are right or wrong, we both know we are entitled to our own opinions. In 3 years of dating I can only remember us really “arguing” one time. We have always been able to sit down and talk out our differences calmly without yelling or name calling. A deal breaker for either of us would be sex outside of our’s. We both have friends of the opposite sex that we hug when we see them out. This is not a problem for either of us because we both trust each other fully and are faithful to each other. We both have our flaws so I cannot say I agree with them, but I do choose to accept them for the sake of our love and relationship.

  • Angel & Eric

    We both discussed all of the topics in this course. From discussing the differences, we realized we really just need to communicate more openly to each other. It’s hard to see the other’s perspective when you aren’t openly discussing the issue at hand.
    We think, in this course, the hand demonstration was helpful- it helped us realize that each situation has more than one perspective..and with the few conflicts we’ve had, most of them have no right or wrong (i.e. the “right” way to load the washer and fold clothes.)

    When it comes to deal breakers: For Eric, it was the way a his partner handles finances- by spending carelessly, and someone heavily involved in a certain religion. For Angel, it was having absolutely no religion at all, and not allowing exposure to religions. (She is okay with someone not being religious, but not allowing her to be open or possible future children to be was a no-go).

  • Caroline & Sam

    After going over each topic- we quickly realized our strengths and where our weakness lies. We both agree our loyalty, support, and communication are the striving factors of our relationship. We have the same beliefs, wants, and goals yet we struggle with finding a solution in the little things such as chores around the house. We both agree that we want each other to be in agreement not just acceptance.

    As for deal breakers, we both agreed on unfaithfulness physically and/or emotionally, not having financial understanding, living an unhealthy lifestyle (health/drinking too much alcohol).

  • Jesse and Elizabeth

    Jesse and I realize that normally the way we argue is that one of us cares more about something than the other. Eventually one of us just doesn’t care enough to keep arguing. Which can be a good and bad thing. We need to work in communicating more clearly if something is super important to us. We also realize that we often have misunderstandings about finances the most because we don’t always see eye to eye. We need to work in communicating more openly when it comes to spending money.

  • Lauren Tippit

    Jon and I don’t often argue, but when we do we often work it out and own our mistakes. Who’s Right and who’s wrong is important to build trust between us. We don’t always see eye-to-eye but we work together through our differences, a lot of patience and communication strengthens our bond. When we argue most of the time it is due to a difference in our personalities and perspective on topics. In this aspect the hand exercise was a good demonstration. While I (Lauren) tend to be a more reserved, and cautious person when it comes to problems, my fiance Jon tend to take things as they come in stride. I have a tendency to think far into the future and worry while Jon is less concerned when it comes to worrying about such things. This is often the root of our arguments. This is also due to how our parents raised us to react to things which has impacted how we handle situations now. A deal breaker for both of us would be infidelity and poor handing of finances.

  • Megan & Nate

    We typically don’t argue about difficult topics because we tend to agree most of the time. When we argue about little things, Nate struggles to listen when Megan has a different viewpoint because she comes at it from an emotional perspective and he comes at it from a logical perspective, where we can both be right but its hard to agree on something when you are viewing it from different lenses. Nate agreed that he needs to be better at seeing things from Megan’s perspective even when he thinks hes right. A consistent lesson we are learning tonight is that we need to take a break when we get in our small arguments so that we are able to view things from the others perspective without getting too into the back and forth argument.

  • Melissa Davis

    These are such great topics to cover. Justin and I have actually already had conversations on these topics prior to engagement. We both agreed that we like the “hand demonstration” because it’s a quick reminder that our perspective isn’t always the only/right one. Both of us have our own opinions but we know that coming together as one in a marriage means we will have to try to see each other’s ideas/opinions as not always wrong…maybe just different. And then, how can we work on trying to get on the same page or find a compromise.

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