Advice from a Lexis

Learn how to disagree in style


 Dear Lexis,

 My husband and I get along well enough, but lately, I’ve been wondering why, after years of marriage, our perspectives still differ so significantly. It can be quite aggravating at times and has caused more than a few arguments, but no matter what we do, our fundamental differences still seem to cause tension. Any thoughts?


           ~ Feuding in Olympia

 Dear Feuding in Olympia,

This is certainly the challenge of every relationship. And while our differences can be irritating at times, they also create moments of tremendous growth for us. To help you figure out the root of your feuding, I’ll share three base differences that you can consider.

Masculine and feminine 

While not always male and female, the masculine and feminine ways of thinking differ in several ways. Masculine energy tends to be highly focused but light in intent. Feminine energy is broader, independent and more serious. Masculine energy is more likely to be given freely, whereas feminine attention tends to be earned.

There are good reasons for these differences too. In the ancient world where survival came first, men had to compete with other men for the right to make children. Women had to select from the available mates and chose wisely for the sake of future children. While these roles have varied and diversified, masculine energy and feminine energy still retain the same base instinct.

Or vs. And thinking

Unlike the previous distinction, this one tends to be purely philosophical. One of the ways in which we humans make decisions is through dichotomous thinking: black or white, good or bad. This is a stage in our mental development that we start to think past as we grow, but it’s very deeply ingrained in most. The more time you spend thinking about abstracts and theory, the more likely you are to consider things in a less dichotomous way which leads to a philosophy based on ‘and’; black and white, good and bad.

Neither method of thought is bad or wrong, but if you have two people, one an ‘or’ thinker and the other an ‘and’ thinker, they will likely run into disagreements. One will argue that, as a rule, something should or should not be done based on morality (it’s more wrong than right, therefore wrong), while the other will argue that something should or should not be done based on the situation and repercussions. Don’t get me wrong, neither thought process is immoral in nature, but the ‘and’ mentality tends to be more nuanced and circumstance specific.

Why vs. Why Not

This is a fairly new discovery for me, but one of the most fascinating. I would say that the difference between religious people and non-religious people comes down to this distinction.

  • The ‘Why’ thinkers ask for reasons to believe, or trust, in something. They seek proof first. 
  • Religious people tend not to ask for a reason to believe, or trust -- they are the 'Why Not' thinkers. They don't require scientific rationale to believe.

It does, however, seem that one can change from a ‘why’ to a ‘why not’ if one wanted to, or vice versa. Although, in some ways, shifting from a ‘why’ to a ‘why not’ can seem like a Catch-22 (in order to believe in something without proof, you must first have proof).

This perspective difference is, perhaps, one of the most common causes of disagreements.  Each individual is quite literally looking at the world from the opposite angle. Still, if you’re willing to deal with a bit of contention, this distinction is also a cause of great learning opportunities.


While these three defining perspectives can help you narrow down why you keep running into specific sticking points with your significant other, keep in mind that each of these three defining traits can be expressed in a multitude of ways. We are all unique and, while perhaps disagreeable at times, all of our perspectives should be respected and appreciated.

I hope this article gives you some clarity and a starting point to help you work through your feuds. If any of you readers have any feedback or further questions, feel free to reach out and let me know.

Best of luck,

          ~ Lexis

Lexis is Alexis Rae Baker. She writes from her home in Olympia.   Got a question about life, relationships, spirit?  Visit her at or write to Lexis at 


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