The question sounds a bit existential, but the concept behind it really isn't. A single event can have multiple viewpoints and leave different impressions on everyone who is a part of it.
And relationships have multiple perspectives, too. Each partner has a set of glasses specific to his or her experiences in life, which started in childhood, continued through adolescence, early adulthood and beyond. Each partner brings this perspective to the relationship and can make seeing eye to eye more difficult than the couple would like.
This is where the work lies … understanding where the other person comes from. The other person's perspective may still be annoying to you, and yours to your significant other, but suddenly the reason behind it makes a little more sense and provides yet another tool for the couple to use to overcome differences.
Providing this understanding answers the question: Are there other truths? One partner may think to him or herself: the answer/action/thought my partner gave me doesn't make any sense. But does that make the other person wrong? No. You are assuming what the other person is thinking, feeling and doing based on your own experiences, not those of your partner. It's one of the dangers of assuming, but talking through these things can do away with assuming and provide deeper understanding in the relationship.
This understanding doesn't always just happen. The experiences one person goes through in life aren't easily explained or talked about, which can lead to frustration. Alternately, one person's experiences aren't easily heard by the other. But by working with a couple's therapist, the right amount of safety can be fostered in the relationship to make this sharing easier, all with the goal of bringing about greater harmony in the relationship.
Give the therapists at PhiladelphiaMFT a call if the feelings in the relationship are confusion or distrust and see how your relationship can be when these negative connotations and feelings are lessened.
This topic of the week was written by Brian Swope, MFT