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The Bahá’í Writings teach:  “Antagonism and contradiction are unfortunate and always destructive to truth”.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 72)

Antagonism means rivalry, resentment, ill will.

Sometimes when our lives are totally out of control due to traumatic experiences, we long to hold onto some element of control in our lives, which often takes the form of needing to be “right”, because in the past, if we weren’t “right”, we were punished or abused.  When this need carries itself into adult relationships, and it leads to rivalry, resentment, ill-will and contradiction, it can cause separation.

Since truthfulness is the “foundation of all the virtues of the world of humanity”, and “without truthfulness, progress and success in all of the worlds of God are impossible for a soul” (Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i World Faith, p. 384), and since “antagonism is destructive to truth”, it seems to me that when antagonism is present in a relationship, there is no foundation for a relationship to be built on.

How many marriages and work environments are poisoned by antagonism?  What’s been your experience, and how do you think we can resolve it when we’re inside it?