How did you handle a difference of opinion with your partner?

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In summary, a woman shares her experience of being hurt by her boyfriend's comments about transgender individuals. She explains that he is not a hateful person but just ignorant, and shares how she helped him understand by sharing personal stories of her transgender friends. They ended the conversation in a good place and she wonders how other couples handle disagreements. Another person shares their own experience of initially being unsure about transgender individuals until a friend went through a gender transition and how it changed their perspective. They advise the woman to make connections and introduce her boyfriend to transgender individuals to help him understand.
  • #1
taurus3434
Hi everyone - I have been in a romantic relationship with a wonderful man for the past 8 months. Last night was the first time I was deeply hurt by something he said. I have friends from all walks of life, which include individuals who are transgender. My bf said he thinks being transgender is "ridiculous" and "not right." I do want to emphasize he did not say this with malice or hate in his tone. He is a gay/lesbian/bisexual ally which was why I was surprised. Of course this was around midnight when we were going to bed, but after those words I could not sleep.

I was so shocked and disappointed that I went to sit on the couch for a few minutes to cool down and think. He came out to see me and asked if I was okay and said he couldn't sleep either. I told him our conversation had unsettled and hurt me because I value my transgender friends because I feel they are misunderstood. I shared their personal stories with him and how coming out as trans was extremely difficult. He was a great listener and after said that he needed to re-evaluate what he thought because I made some good points. I reminded myself he is not a hateful bigot: just ignorant. He is open to learning and changing his view, which means so much to me. The majority of my friends who are trans live 6 hours away, but I think when he meets them he will see they aren't ridiculous, but people just like him and me.

All in all we ended in a good place and I am relieved that when we disagree on important things we are able to have a respectful conversation about it. Because goodness knows there will be times in the future when we disagree -it's only natural. I am curious, the first time you and your SO disagreed how did you navigate it?

Thanks for reading.
 
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  • #2
We are 66 y.o. and 76 y.o., so obviously set in our ways, though pleasing to each other. Be careful of what becomes disagreement. Nothing matters very much at all though every thing matters a bit. Some ask, "is this the hill you wish (the relationship) to die on?"
 
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  • #3
Doug Huffman said:
We are 66 y.o. and 76 y.o., so obviously set in our ways, though pleasing to each other. Be careful of what becomes disagreement. Nothing matters very much at all though every thing matters a bit. Some ask, "is this the hill you wish (the relationship) to die on?"

Thanks Doug! Great quote.
 
  • #4
Years ago, I was like your bf. I wasn't sure what to think about transgendered people. I wasn't sure it was a real "thing" - until one of my friends went through it.

She told our small group of friends that she had been living as a male secretly for a while, and now wanted to become male officially. I had no idea - all this time, I thought she was gay. I was really shocked! Keep in mind, this was about 23 years ago. Being gay was no big deal but transsexual? It really wasn't openly discussed back then.

The next two years were amazing. Before the transition, she would not look anyone in the eye and spoke so softly you could barely hear her. Afterwards, he was a strong and confident man. He wasn't tall, maybe 5' 2", but he had no problem getting dates. It was a great learning experience for me!

I realized the person I thought I knew wasn't a shy woman, but a man in an extremely awkward and embarrassing situation.

So I think your bf's feelings probably don't reveal bigotry, just ignorance. He needs to become acquainted with someone who has crossed the gender line. I really have no idea how you would go about that - it depends on your community. My advice to you would be to try to make those connections *yourself*, then bring your bf into the friendship.
 
  • #5


I understand the importance of having open and respectful communication in any relationship, especially when it comes to discussing differing opinions. In this situation, it sounds like you handled your disagreement with your partner in a mature and productive manner.

It's commendable that you took the time to cool down and gather your thoughts before addressing the issue with your partner. This allowed you to approach the conversation in a calm and rational manner, rather than reacting impulsively in the heat of the moment. Additionally, the fact that your partner came out to check on you and was open to listening to your perspective shows that he values your feelings and is willing to have a dialogue.

It's also important that you shared personal stories of your transgender friends with your partner, as this allowed him to gain a better understanding of their experiences and the challenges they face. This is a great way to educate someone and challenge their preconceived notions.

I think it's wonderful that your partner is open to re-evaluating his views and is willing to learn and grow from this experience. It's important to remember that we all have our own biases and blind spots, and it takes a lot of courage and humility to admit when we are wrong and be open to change.

In terms of my own experience with disagreements in relationships, I have found that open and honest communication, active listening, and mutual respect are key in navigating any differences of opinion. It's important to approach these conversations with a willingness to understand each other's perspectives and find common ground. I believe that conflicts can actually strengthen a relationship if they are handled in a respectful and productive manner.

Overall, it seems like you and your partner have a strong foundation for handling disagreements in your relationship, and I wish you all the best in your future discussions and growth together.
 

Related to How did you handle a difference of opinion with your partner?

1. How did you approach the conversation about the difference of opinion?

I made sure to approach the conversation calmly and respectfully. I actively listened to my partner's perspective and shared my own thoughts in a non-confrontational manner. Communication is key in handling a difference of opinion.

2. Did you try to find a compromise or solution to the difference of opinion?

Yes, I believe it's important to find a compromise or solution that both parties can agree on. We discussed our needs and concerns and worked together to find a middle ground that satisfied both of us.

3. How did you manage any emotions that may have arisen during the discussion?

I made sure to stay calm and not let my emotions take over. I took deep breaths and reminded myself to listen and understand my partner's perspective. If necessary, I took a break from the conversation to collect my thoughts before continuing.

4. Did you seek outside help or advice to resolve the difference of opinion?

If the difference of opinion was causing significant strain on our relationship, we may have sought outside help from a couples therapist or a trusted friend or family member. However, we always tried to resolve the issue ourselves first before seeking outside assistance.

5. How did you ensure that the difference of opinion did not negatively affect your relationship?

We made sure to communicate openly and honestly with each other. We also made an effort to understand and respect each other's perspectives, even if we didn't necessarily agree with them. We also made sure to show appreciation and love for each other, even in the midst of a disagreement.

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