Unhealthy compromise feels a lot like a subtraction, like you’re the only one giving up things and getting nothing or not much back. If this one-sided relationship continues, the lack of balance breeds resentment and anger and in the end, the relationship won’t survive – happily, or at all. The key then isn’t in saying you won’t ever sacrifice yourself for the sake of the relationship, but rather in compromising in a healthy and positive way, so you both feel valued and fulfilled as you share your life and selves.
It’s okay to disagree in a relationship, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s important to be an individual, as well as a collective unit. This is where compromise comes into play. Compromise can strengthen a relationship, but it can also destroy it. You need to make compromises that create positive results within your relationship, without sacrificing yourself.
Why is Compromise Important?
As mentioned, you’re bound to butt heads with your partner at some point. Whether you disagree on what you’ll have for dinner, which movie you’ll go see, or where you’ll spend the holidays, you need to learn the art of compromise.
When you BOTH compromise, then your issues will generally be resolved in an effective manner. If you do not compromise, the smallest incidences could potentially threaten your relationship. Compromise is finding the best solution for both of you. Sometimes you need to meet in the middle, making both parties satisfied.
When both partners understand compromise, they can find a healthy balance. If you want everything to go your way all the time, you may as well stay single. Even if you do find a partner that consistently allows you to have your way, is that what you want for someone that you ‘care’ about? It’s about making both parties happy. This allows you to grow and develop together.
Are You Willing to Compromise? What Changes Should You Make?
- Are you someone that is fairly resistant to making compromises? Why is this? Do you feel as though you’re discounting your own thoughts and feelings when you give into someone else’s? Not getting your way doesn’t mean you have been ‘defeated.’
- In fact, this is the type of view that you should avoid. If this is how you feel, then any small disagreement can turn into a struggle. When there’s a disagreement, do not focus on ‘winning’ or ‘losing.’ Focus on how you can resolve the situation. What can be done to make both parties happy?
- The key is allowing your partner to influence you in a positive way. When they suggest something, do not automatically dismiss it. Think about how it affects their feelings and respect that. You need to see that your way is not the only way. Being open-minded is so essential in terms of your relationship and even your own personal growth.
When it comes to small disagreements, such as who will do the dishes and which TV show you’ll watch, these are not real issues. You should be able to effectively come to a positive solution without either party feeling discouraged. If your husband cooked dinner, it’s fair that you do the dishes. See how easy that compromise is? There’s a fair balance, allowing both parties to feel appreciated and respected.
If you’re disagreeing on a more substantial topic, such as, where you’ll live or whether or not you’re ready to have kids; then you need to sit down and talk about where you both stand. If you want to live in a certain area, you may become stubborn and unwilling to hear about another location.
However, listen to your partner’s point-of-view. What are they suggesting? How will this suggestion benefit both of you? This is what you need to do when you’re trying to come to an agreement on large decisions; see both sides.
Express your feelings about your wants and needs, then listen to your partner’s wants and needs. If you close down and are unwilling to compromise, then you will not get anywhere. If you do, the decision may be one-sided and that is not fair to the other person involved.
Sometimes you need to look at a disagreement and realize that it’s a matter of perspective. You may not always see eye-to-eye, but it’s all about balance. Think about what it’s like to be in your partner’s shoes. Their opinions and feelings are just as important as yours, so do not be so quick to reject their ideas.
Learn that compromise is not the enemy, it’s the solution. A partnership takes two people, so remember that you’re no longer the only one making decisions. Be respectful of your partner and you are more likely to get that respect in return. Once you have a mutual respect for each other’s feelings, opinions, and ideas, compromise will quickly become second-nature. The end result is good.