Compromise, the one topic of debate that in my mind should not be a debate. I have had numerous a conversation with people about relationships and what a healthy one should be. We would all agree that "communication" is up at the top, "trust" is right up there, "respect", and then the dreaded word "compromise" rears its head. I sat there as a person went on and on about how "compromise" takes something away from a person, how you are giving up something from yourself, and that it eventually creates bitterness and anger. I sat there and cocked my head to the side like Michael Myers in Halloween.
I am not the fore-most love expert and not Dr. Phil, but I definitely did not agree with what this man was telling me. As every word dribbled out of his mouth I got more and more angry. I finally took a breath and spoke up. As calm and respectful as I could muster up to be, I expressed my disapproval of his explanation. I flat out said I disagreed and that compromise can not only be helpful but proposes a resolution that can benefit both sides. It doesn't become one person over the other, rather it becomes something that both people can benefit from. He looked back at me with that same Michael Myers look and said "You're dead wrong and stupid to think that"....If anyone knows me well enough, you know that was like pouring gasoline over an open flame. We then proceeded to go back and forth proposing our experiences and facts for what seemed to be an hour...yet it consistently felt like I was debating a parrot who can only say the same damn thing over and over again. To cut a long story short, I decided to agree to disagree, and I took myself out of the room.
Everyone has a right to their opinion and every opinion is valid, but if your opinion is thought to be the "end all be all" opinion, then something is seriously wrong in your thought process. Looking back at my past marriage, I can see where my compromise was lacking in a lot of instances and that could have honestly been due to being young and immature. Now in my current marriage, I am older, wiser, and proud to say that my wife and I have a healthy "give and take" that works amazing for us and we are never felt to be lacking with anything. As I thought about how compromise has been for us, it made me recall instances that I found to be funny or a spot on testament to what has worked. Here are just a small amount of cases where it has.
Movie Night: My wife and I are huge movie buffs and enjoy pretty much everything as long as the acting isn't horrendous. The one thing that we love to do is compromise with our movie choice for the night. Sometimes I am wanting a really good scary movie, and sometimes she is wanting something thats a drama. We both told each other that we would come to a compromise that would be fair and allow for us to both get a choice as to what to watch. We did the "every other" rule. Basically the first night would be her choice, the next night would be mine, the following would be hers, and so on and so on. You don't get to dispute the movie choice, you can't get huffy that its not what you wanted to see, you watch it and enjoy spending time with the other person. The funny part about this, is that it actually has benefited us in our selections. More often than not, Angel will want to watch a scary movie, and I can't believe I'm saying this....I have watched and I am starting to enjoy the show "The Crown" and look forward to new recommendations she has in mind. I even went as far as to say that we could watch one of those sappy cheesy hallmark movies.
Dinner date: An important aspect to a marriage is still being able to go on a date and spend that one on one time that brings you closer. Angel and I are dedicated to allowing ourselves this, no matter how tired or stressed we can get from our crazy week. We both agreed that we would compromise and let one person chose what they wanted to eat and do and then the other would get the choice next time. To my wife's credit, she actually is very selfless, and wants to give up her choice so that we can do something I want. I then respond with something along the lines of nice try, its your turn. (probably a bit more smartassy) lol We then figure out if we want to shoot pool, catch a movie, go for a walk, grab a coffee, or even do a puzzle. In our minds we don't care what we do as long as we spend time with one another and enjoy the fun that happens from there.
Chores and the house: This could be considered compromise but it ends up becoming more along the lines one wanting to go above and beyond so the other can have it easier. One of us gets home and thoroughly cleans the house by vacuuming, dusting, laundry, and picking up. That way when the other gets home they can just unwind and relax a little bit more. So while I might take care of all those aspects with cleaning, my wife will then make a killer meal for dinner and have a huge iced coffee for me to top it off. (coffee is my life blood btw) When dinner is done (despite her trying to fight me to do this herself) I then clean all the dishes and clean up as a way of saying thank you.
With all of these instances of how we use compromise, we are able to do so due to respect, love, and communication. Without those compromise isn't possible. Without those, compromise then becomes a "chore", a "labor", an act of doing something just to shut the other person up. THAT'S where the bitterness and resentment can sink in. Thankfully for Angel and I we have never had this become a problem and we are continuing to grow as a husband and wife. All because, in my opinion "compromise works".
(2nd post by Jarad Barlow. Guess this is becoming a new trend)