Research in relationships shows that men find it more difficult than women to accept influence from their partners (see J. Gottman’s research). But, let’s face it, we can all love to win, and we are living in a culture that promotes winning. In a relationship, when one person is winning all the time, BOTH partners are losing.
In Gottman’s study of 130 couples, he found that newly married people who accepted influence from their partner’s had more stable marriages in the long term.
As adults, we need to learn how to accept our partner’s influence and collaborate and negotiate in relationships. Accepting influence is one way to respect your partners’ point of view, to take a moment to stand in their shoes and see the world as they see it.
Once you have honestly heard and understood your partner, the challenge is to search for a win-win outcome, a middle ground.
Learning how to accept influence, negotiate well as a couple, and think of creative solutions will provide a solid foundation for a long relationship.