Conflicting Values

 

Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“My significant other and I have conflicting values. This conflict doesn’t create huge problems, but it does limit our closeness from time to time. Is it about compromise?”

No, it’s not. It’s not about compromise. It’s about allowing each other to have different values and negotiating how those values manifest themselves. The thing that you say that is of most concern is that your values are conflicting. Couples don’t need to have the same values but when values conflict, it does create trouble.

The question is, are you trying to convince your partner that they should have your values, or are they trying to convince you that you should have theirs? See, it’s that attempt to get people to believe or live their lives differently than your living yours that creates trouble. I think that sitting down and having an honest conversation about respecting their values and asking them to respect yours and then working out a plan for how you manifest these values differently. In some cases, they can’t be worked out. I hope that’s not the case with you.

It’s not unusual for couples to have differing values sometimes, they can’t be dramatically different, relationship will never work. Acknowledge that the other person’s values are real, unless they’re a sociopath. Acknowledge that they’re real and they’re worthwhile, then work out a plan forward for how you can both live out those values while still maintaining the integrity of the relationship. Hope that was helpful.

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