I recently wrote about different styles for couples and how couples therapy can help. Seeing that you are different and that you both feel right about your way is a significant step. Usually, when couples get to this place in couples counseling and they realize “we both are right” or “we both feel we are right” they sit quietly with a “deer-in-the-headlights” look—they don’t know what to do next. The simple answer is to keep going with the discussion, keeping in mind that you are both right.
Fighting has a lot to do with “I am right and you are wrong” whether folks have that consciously in their mind or not. Shifting to “we are both right” and then “we are both right and what are we going to do about it” are great, significant steps, because it is no long one against the other but “what can we do?” “We” do is very different than “you need to change.” Again, continuing the discussion with “we are both right” kept close at hand, kept in mind, changes the tone of the argument. That is a very big change.
So in therapy, when a couple gets to “we are both right on this one,” I am gently nudging them to “keep going” and what happens is often (not always, but often) amazing: one says a solution that just might work. Or the other says a compromise. Or a new part of the issue comes up that has been the problem all along. So I say again, because the couple in couples therapy has moved from “me against you” to “we are both right,” a shift has happened that often moves to different ways of looking at the issue/problem, which releases the gridlock, and a better idea (that is more mutual than “you have to change”) arises. Try it at home (or in couples counseling if you can’t get to it at home): in an argument about x (money, or child raising, or sex, or etc.), say, “What if we are both right? What might we do?” You could move to, “What works for both of us?” Let me know how it turns out.