I realise that we don't know what's really happening between Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis but the newspapers say that they have been constantly arguing of late. And I thought I'd blog about how hard it is to resolve differences in a rational and compassionate way, once a couple fall into bad habits of behaviour.
"Stop succumbing to an unspoken contract
If we consistently fail to resolve differences within our relationship, then we are not just wasting our time – we are wasting our life.
It is a tragedy that we neither give up and leave nor skilfully resolve our differences and stay.
Instead, we stay and endlessly argue or silently seethe, while continually threatening to, or thinking about, splitting up. We end up living together with an unspoken, implicit contract – an expectation that we:
- Don’t say what we mean
- Don’t do what we say
- Don’t respect each other
- Don’t listen to each other
- Raise opinions and issues with a counsellor, friends or family rather than with each other
- Don’t show spontaneous affection
- Blame each other for feelings and behaviour
- Don’t make time for each other
- Take silence as agreement
- Play games and manipulate
- Don't trust each other
- Resist change
- Make shallow agreements
- Don’t stick to commitments