Monday, May 11, 2009

Impasse: What To Do Next

What do we do when we come to an impasse in a relationship? How to we decide what to do? Where can we go to find new ideas in a safe non-judgemental environment?

There may be times in our relationships when we cannot find agreement between ourselves and our partner regarding an important issue. When all of our efforts at communication have not brought us closer to resolution, we need a next step. Sometimes we may be unable to see our partners point of view. We may have tried listening, dialogue, taking time to process what our partner has shared, and trying to see the situation through our partners eyes. Both ourselves and our partner may have tried in vain to compromise.

There may be some issues which are important to both ourselves and our partner that resist all our attempts at effective communication and compromise. In these instances we may need a third party to get us unstuck. Even in the best of relationships there may be times when partners cannot find a way to resolve an important issue. There may be hesitance in asking family members for advice because one partner may fear family will takes sides. There may also be concerns regarding privacy due to the nature of the issues.

A counselor may be able to provide a fresh pair of eyes and ears to the situation. In a safe private environment, both parties may be able to air their differences regarding the issue at hand, along with their suggested solutions. Each of us may have an agenda during counseling, however, the overall agenda is to resolve the issue at hand and find a solution acceptable to all parties.

We may wish to have our partner agree to option A. Our partner may want us to agree to option B. Option C occurred to neither of us, but in fact meets both our needs. This is the benefit of getting input from an impartial third party. When we are honest and bring our hearts to the table with a clear agenda of making our relationship work, we will find the answers we seek. Often times partners only need a nudge in the right direction to be able to resolve seemingly unresolvable issues.

When we practice self care in our daily lives and continue to use our tools, we will see our relationships blossom. We may find we get stuck from time to time and seek the advice of our counselor. With consistent practice in using our tools, we increase our self esteem thereby increasing healthy inter-dependence in our relationships.

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