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A core part of accepting and embracing each other is uncovering and understanding the meaning of each person’s position in conflict, finding out what things mean to each person. Anything worth fighting about has a meaning or value underneath. Sometimes, conflicts are calls to be understood, accepted, or loved. 


This is a core skill in several Gottman interventions.



  • While one topic is often connected on a web of other topics, focus on one specific to discuss. 


  • Decide who will start as the speaker and who will start as the listener.
    • Speaker, your task is to talk about the topic from your point of view using “I” statements


Don’t argue for or try to persuade your partner of your point of view, just explain how you see things. 

Focus on thoughts and feelings. 


  • Listener, your job here is to help your partner feel safe enough to tell you their point of view You can help by suspending judgement and not act like a judge, rather someone who is curious. 

Don’t try to solve the problem! It is much too soon for that. You first need to end the opposition of dreams and become one another’s friend instead of foe. Try to understand the meaning of your partner’s dream. Be interested. 


  • The listener will summarize the speaker’s message. If the summary has something that is not accurate, or something missing, the speaker will re-explain and the listener will keep attempting to correct the summary. When the summary is accurate, the speaker and listener will trade roles.  

Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to me here.