I’m gonna rewrite a bit by Seth Godin: Living with what happens next. His context is self-awareness to improve business; his principles apply to relationship too. So here goes:
Most people are okay with living with the consequences of what happens.
The hard part is living with our narrative about how it happened and why.
If you get in an argument with your spouse and the day ends with no resolution, you end up sleeping in separate rooms.
But if your upset is unresolved because you were unwilling to recognize the validity in your spouse’s upset, the story you tell yourself about why you are at an impass might just be worse than the relationship impact of sleeping in separate beds.
The story we tell ourselves about relationship upsets makes all the difference between an upset that gets resolved and one that doesn’t. Beware of thoughts of superiority (it’s not me, it’s you) during an upset; self-soothing thoughts tell you that you have fallen into the mental trap of an egoic narrative! Self-soothing narratives become so loud that we cannot see what’s really going on. When we can’t even see the real root of the upset, we are doomed to failure.