Today, let us talk about compromises. We all love to say to our partners, "I make a whole lot of compromises in this marriage". We say it loud and clear but my question is, do we really make compromises? Do we let things go even when it is most annoying or do we only do that when it is most convenient for us? Here are some of the dictionary meanings of compromises: An agreement or settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions; the expedient acceptance of standards that is lower than desirable; to meet each other half way; make a deal between different parties where each party gives up part of their demands; find the middle ground; come to an understanding; strike a balance; find a happy medium; finding agreement through communication; mutual acceptance of terms often involving deviations from an original goal or desire etc. While going through those definitions, you will either feel guilty or smile. Why? You might feel guilty because you definitely remember issues that could have been peacefully resolved if only you were not so stubborn or could give up just a little part of your demand or your so called 'right'. You might smile because you definitely identify with some of those definitions having used them to resolve issues a number of times. A little compromise here and there does not spell foolishness.
One of those definitions really struck a cord. "The expedient acceptance of standards that is lower than desirable", because I remember having a discussion about this with a friend of mine over christmas. Often times, while we were single, we have set certain standards of living for ourselves. It could be in character or in living conditions. It could be something as fundamental as loyalty or as trivial as how you like your bed laid, your plates arranged or your toothpaste tube pressed. Those standards have worked so well for us and anything short of that is unacceptable to us. We get married and our partner cannot just fathom why it is such a big deal to us. After all, it is just plates and can be arranged any way. You, on the other hand cannot fathom why he/she cannot just do it the way you want, not because it is the right way but because it is your standard. Have you sat down and considered what it will cost you to lower that standard a bit? Absolutely nothing! I understand you my dear, it starts with just the plates right, and then it feels like you have to keep changing the way you do everything, why can't he/she just do things the right way instead of you having to change right? Did I just speak your mind? Well, my answer is, if it sincerely has no bearing or significance on your life or your children, then you can afford to let it go.
When it has to do with more significant issues, you are having an argument, it has span for weeks. There just seems like there is no way to meet a consensus. No meeting ground. You both want totally different things. If you can sincerely see that both ideas are good but you just feel like yours is better, be the bigger person and give up part of your demands. The fact is there is always a middle ground in every friction and every crossroad, you just have you move your bar a little whether up or down and you will find it. Being the one to shift ground is not stupidity, it is wisdom. A little compromise here and there makes for a stronger home. I understand that there are some values and important things you have to stand your ground to make the best decision but I also know that more than half the time, we stay at complete loggerheads with our partners just because we are too proud and stubborn to make compromises. Stubbornness is not sexy, it can strain your marriage so much that making joint decisions becomes a hassle and before you know it, we begin to make decisions by ourselves just because you want to avoid another bout. Little by little we foster cracks in our homes. A little compromise here and there is how we can build a lasting marriage. Your way can never always be the best way after all your partner is not a stupid person, if he or she was, you would not have married them.
Let us live, love and learn for the journey is still far and it is not for the fainthearted.