Relationships are made up of two completely different people. It does not matter if you have similar opinions, dealt with similar life traumas, or agree on everything. You are two different people that experience the world two completely different ways.
On some level, we know this. We recognize that our partners are different from us. But what we often fail to realize is that they are not just different. They have a completely different reality. Understanding this can go a long way toward helping you communicate with each other.
You Are The Protagonist of Your Own Reality – and So Are They
No one exists in this world except for you. If you think about consciousness as a concept, the way our minds see the world is the way only *our* minds see the world. As far as our consciousness is concerned, the universe only exists as long as we can perceive it. Our brains are what create reality.
But while our brains create our reality, our partner’s brains create their reality. They process emotions differently when they do. They experience events differently when they do. Their mind works differently than ours.
There is a word for this in the field of philosophy: Qualia. It is the idea that many or all of our experiences in life are subjective, and so two people – even if they are looking at the same color or seeing the same event – are actually seeing it the exact same way.
A more modern example might be to consider it like a multiverse. Our partner exists in our universe, and we exist in theirs, but we are not in the same universe, because we are not perceiving the world the same way our partner is, and vice versa.
Communicating Through Our Different Experiences
Once we understand that our partners are experiencing a different reality, we can then understand why it is often so hard for us to understand their point of view and see why they feel the way they do.
Most of us do not spend nearly enough time trying to see things from our partners’ perspective. But even when we do, most of us try to understand our partner by picturing our partner in the world as *we* see it. We do not take the time to imagine their reality. We only imagine our reality and try to figure out how our partner feels based on the way we see them.
Couples Counseling Improves Perspective and Communication
Part of the couples counseling process is to address exactly this: to know our partner’s feelings, beliefs, and perspective so intimately, that we can actually rethink how our partner sees the world and truly live in their shoes. We try to understand each partner’s emotions, traumas, needs, and experiences so well that we can actually see our own world and reality differently.
We may never really be able to see the world the exact way our partner does, but if we can at least understand that they have their own reality and take steps to learn more about what that reality is like, we can start communicating with our partners in ways that are more emotionally healthy and with greater love and care.