Hey, T’Challa said it, not me.
T’Challa: You would make a great Queen [meaning wife] if you weren’t so stubborn.
Nakia: It is because I am so stubborn that I would make an excellent wife, if that’s what I wanted.
I am going to try my best to keep the spoilers to a minimum because I acknowledge that everyone hasn’t seen the movie yet. If you still plan to see it, you can safely read. It’s okay.
The spoiler-free context of this post is that T’Challa, also known as The Black Panther, was trying to get the amazing Lupita Nyong’o’s character to make certain life decisions. She was being very strong willed and refused. His statement was one that I immediately jotted down in the theater because I felt a certain connection to the emotions of both characters.
On the one hand, T’Challa seemed to be expressing that he would be able to share his kingdom if they could agree on certain big picture life choices. Her inability to bend or listen to “reason” made him reluctant to share his thrown. On the other hand, Nakia highlighted that a Queen should feel strongly about important things and not bend when it comes to subjects that matter.
I’ve been married for almost 12 years. In my household, my husband, Ed McDonald, and I are no strangers to bumping heads. Outside of our households, we both live lives where we have important decisions to make constantly. Decisions about the health of individuals, but also business decisions that require experience and steadfast choices. When it comes to decisions at home, we can often play a powerful tug-of-war when we disagree. I would like to believe that my opinion and his are both equally as valid, but where does that leave us when we disagree.
Here are five important tips that I think are important to have healthy disagreements as strong-willed individuals, or “power couples.”
- Fight fair: No low blows. No personal attacks. No talking about his mama. (Love you, Mom.) Underhanded comments are a surefire way to not keep your man.
- Listen to his point of view and reserve the right to think about it before responding. Consider his thought as though it were your idea. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in what we think should be happening, a reasonable compromise isn’t even considered. Actually think about it.
- Try not to revisit old, unrelated arguments in the heat of the present disagreement. You may feel the urge to remind him of that prior I-Told-You-So now while trying to convince him of current points. Don’t open the flood gates. Also, if you didn’t bring up the overflowing trash (for example) when you noticed it, don’t bring it up now when you are trying to “win” an unrelated argument. This isn’t the time.
- Sometimes be willing to bring in a third party. A counselor or trusted friend can sometimes help to bring a more objective perspective to the decision at hand. I stress the word “sometimes” because nobody is ever completely objective. You want the third party to help, not drive a deeper wedge between the two people. I think in-laws should NEVER be that third party opinion contributor. I don’t have personal experience with in-laws when it comes to disagreements, but I’ve heard horror stories.
- You may have to agree to disagree. I think that as long as those episodes where compromise cannot be reached are few and far between, AND when you don’t agree, you “take turns” with who gets the final say, both parties have a better chances of remaining happy and free of animosity.
If this list still doesn’t help you and your “T’Challa” work it out, just do this:
Just kidding, Ed.
Check out a video collaboration by Dr. Ed McDonald and myself. He created this track, y’all. No arguments here.