Resolving Disagreements With Your Partner

by Reid on June 8, 2015

Couple Having Argument At HomeWhat do you do when your partner, friend, co-worker or family member feels strongly about a topic, and disagrees with you? This can cause fights and tension.

Join relationship expert Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from as they give you tips and suggestions.

Cathy: Hi, this is Cathy Vartuli from

Reid: I’m Reid Mihalko from

Cathy: We all have friends, partners, lovers, coworkers who we may admire and get along great with but they may have some areas of their lives or beliefs that we just don’t agree with. It could be politics, I have a couple friends where if they talk about recycling or the ecology, there’s huge blow-up fights. What do you do when you run into that? When you have some area of your life where you just don’t, your Venn-diagram doesn’t overlap at all?

Reid: What I would do is … Well, again, this is all depending on your own personality. So take this with a grain of salt. I acknowledge that people’s beliefs and opinions, they have very strong beliefs and opinions. In acknowledging this, I’m like “You obviously have some really strong opinions and beliefs and I want to acknowledge your passion and how you honor the strength of those for yourself. I never want to talk about these subjects with you ever, because I like you as a person and you and I always fight about this stuff.”

Cathy: Yeah. That works really just to throw the other side of that. That works really well if you’re in a friendship, but if you’re partners and one of you wants to recycle and thinks you’re absolutely wrong if the other one doesn’t. If you’re living in the same household, there could be a lot of stress there even if you get along great in every other area.

Reid: Recycle. Don’t fight over the bottles and the plastic, just separate the f’ing bottles and the plastic. It’s not worth losing your relationship over destroying the planet. No.

Cathy: What about politics?

Reid: Don’t talk about politics at all, ever, or religion. You shouldn’t even be talking about it. If it’s a deal breaker, then seriously consider with your partner shifting the relationship. Honestly, if you guys are that pissed off at each other about politics, something else is going on. Unless it’s a deal breaker.

Cathy: Right.

Reid: They take a stance on something that is not acceptable to you at all. In which case you need to have a real conversation because it’s really not acceptable. It is really a deal breaker. If it’s just something that pisses you off, and you guys shouldn’t talk about it-don’t talk about it. Really, politics is not … To some people that’s a big deal, but it’s not worth losing your relationship over. You’re just trying to be right.

Cathy: Both people want to just be safe and do the right thing.

Reid: Yeah. It’s a bottom line thing. It’s a conversation about is this really, can you really not be sharing a household with a libertarian, or whatever that is.

Cathy: Sometimes the worst conflict comes up when one or both parties has decided that Republicans are “blank” and Democrats are “blank”.

Reid: Well, declarative sentences.

Cathy: They’re always this way.

Reid: Declarative sentences are always wrong. That’s the thing, you realize “Oh, we’re speaking in declaratives and now we’re shouting bullet points at each other.”

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Unless you get paid to do that on the news, don’t do that in your home and with your loved ones. Talk about really how you … If who you’re voting for is actually destroying your relationship, you guys have way other bigger problems going on around being able to communicate, share intimacy, and negotiate where your boundaries are.

Cathy: What would you recommend they do if they’re having those problem?

Reid: Hire you for a coach.

Cathy: Or heck out Relationship 10X.

Reid: Well, you can check out, which is my website. There’s a bunch of free videos that you can sign up for. Really have a conversation about what is the shared intention of your relationship because if you’re using … I meant to use politics as an example. If you’re using politics to cut each other down at the knees, something else is going on.

Cathy: There’s probably other resentments or …

Reid: It’s not who you voted for that’s ruining your relationship. There’s a bunch of other stuff that you’re not saying, or some communication skills that you’re missing to be able to work through and talk about what’s actually important to you.

Cathy: Yeah. A lot of times, when people get that intense about something that’s not immediately dangerous in front of them, it’s because our primitive brain gets scared. It evolved in a time when we didn’t have news or didn’t learn about things overseas, or elsewhere in the country. You may be reacting strongly to something that part of your brain thinks is an immediate danger right now. If you vote for Bush, the whole world’s going to collapse. Or we have to move to Canada.

Reid: It’s like Alderman Johnson being elected is not probably destroying your relationship. You may be offended, but that’s a conversation about opinions and beliefs of how you think the world should run. Not I can’t sleep in the same bed with you because you voted for this Alderman, whatever.

Cathy: Yeah. Thank you. We’d love to know what you think. Leave comments below or any questions.

Reid: Yeah, but don’t talk to me about politics or religion in the comments. That’s not cool. That’s hardline.

Cathy: (Laughs) Thank you.

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