I am right. I need to change my spouse’s mind. Once I convince him to see a matter as I see it, then our conflict will be resolved. He believes he is right. Neither of us convinces the other to change his or her mind, and an impasse charged with anger and hurt is reached. We distance ourselves from one another. How can peace and intimacy be restored? What is peace, and what is intimacy? Is intimacy knowing and being known? Is peace an extension of compassion and mercy?
We are afraid and hide behind the dispute and the impasse, as a way to avoid the work of transparency. He can’t hurt or disappoint me as deeply, if I don’t reveal my feelings, if I limit the communication to which one of us wins the debate. When I risk sharing how I am feeling, when he does the same, we once again know the heart of the other. Compassion and mercy are aroused. In that atmosphere of peace, workable solutions can be designed.