09 Jan

Togetherness is an agreement to be there for each other, to put the relationship before anything else, any other demands that life puts our way.  Partners entering the relationship have to buy into the agreement and own it in order to fully appreciate the togetherness of the pact.

How do we agree on that, how to compromise the two different worlds we come from, two different value systems, the ways of communicating, expressing emotions, bringing up children?

How do we navigate the complex influence of our family of origin experiences in the new family unit we now create ? How do we navigate cross-cultural differences we often face in multicultural families?

What seems like an easy tasks comes with a level of hidden, underlying complexity of influencing factors we often do not fully understand when we enter our "couple bubble" in the moment when we first meet. This special moment of falling in love, seeing the life through brighter colours of fascination and excitement, looking towards the promising future through the lenses of the new exciting quality and the promise it brings. Settling down, having children then... the reality of life, daily routine and challenges,  navigating financial commitments and different stages of relationship.

This is when some of the differences begin, highlighting different interpretations, different ways of managing situations and factors that could be at play. It is natural that we all have different opinions on things coming from different environments and individual life experiences. How we navigate some of those differences is a true testimony to our "couple bubble" determining its longevity and its successful survival.

When, in the process of negotiation we do not feel heard and understood by our partner, it is when the troubles often begin. Some of the biggest challenges in the relationship are deeply embedded in differences in values and interpretations of the situations we are facing. This is why it is really important to us to be clear what our values are, where our bottom-lines sit, and which behaviours are in opposition to our value system.

To do this, we need to be really clear on what it is that we bring into the relationship and what our expectations are. I would like to encourage you to reflect on some of the questions below.



Notice the moment of experiencing difference of opinions. What are those differences about?

 What influences your perspective and what is the difference with what your partner brings to the picture and what influences their perspective?

Spend time exploring your own values understanding what is really important to you and underpins your life choices and decisions?

You may want to utilise some of the resources available on internet including value sheet through the ACT Mindfully website.

Compare your own values with the values your partner has. Which of them overlap? Which of them are quite different?

How can you promise staying true to what it is important to both of you being respectful to the other person's opinion?


S. Tatkin, 2011, Wired for Love. How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship, Oakland: Rainforst Books

ACT Mindfully free resources by Dr Russ Harris https://www.actmindfully.com.au/free-stuff/

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