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Compromise in relationships is part of our daily lives as we build relationships.
Have you ever done business or had a business deal with somebody that both of you had conflicting views on virtually every issue? If you have, you will agree with me that it wasn’t a sweet experience and most times such deals never get completed because neither of the parties agreed to shift ground on certain fundamental issues.
For any relationship to succeed, both parties involved have to make compromises.
Practical Instances Of Compromise In Relationships:
I remember when we were about to get married, we agreed on some important issues which include the following:
- We would not keep two homes simultaneously. Even if we had to, it would be quite temporary and not for a very long period of time.
- Both of us shouldn’t be too busy at the same time for our children especially during their tender and formative years.
These decisions have so much affected our choices in areas of job, career, and location(residence). I must tell you that it has not been all roses keeping to those agreements. We are still on the journey and we have had to deal with quite challenging situations as a result of those decisions, but so far, we have had no regrets making those decisions.
Compromise is simply an agreement made between two people or groups in which each party gives up some of the things they want so that both sides are happy at the end.
Compromise is not totally sacrifice, even though there is an element of sacrifice in compromise.
Sacrifice is about giving up something. It is mostly not driven by any form of selfishness. Sacrifice is often one-sided. That is, sacrifice is disproportionate.
Sacrifice mostly means that one person is doing the heavy lifting, giving up things that are important to them or adjusting their values time and time again.
On the other hand, compromise is a kind of settlement where a person reduces or lowers his demand. Compromise is not one-sided, it is Mutual.
Most people enter into relationships with high level individualistic mindsets. They are not always willing to make compromises. Marriage, which is the coming together of two different individuals from different backgrounds with different personality and orientation to life requires high level of compromises from both parties. Every relationship is different and unique and therefore requires different levels of compromises.
Meaning Of Compromise In Relationships:
Compromises are conscious sacrifices and adjustments that couples agree to make in order to move their marriage forward. Compromises in marriage are in various levels and degrees.
It can be as little as giving a helping hand in day to day domestic chores like washing dishes, disposing the waste bin, cleaning the house, bathing the children, dropping off or picking the kids from school, shopping for housekeeping, cooking, etc.
It can also be in the form of emotional support like refraining from watching your favorite television series or football club match to make your spouse happy, refusing to go catch up with the ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ just to be and connect with your spouse, etc.
Compromises in marriage may also involve some seemingly serious issues like delaying or putting a hold on career pursuit (maybe till the kids are a bit grown up and more independent), change of job (in order to be more available for the family), career switch (for family interest), relocation (in order to live together), refusing to buy that “aso ebi” or new wears in order to make more fund available for family upkeep, change of religion (for spiritual synergy and stability), etc.
How then can spouses make compromises in their marriage?
How to make compromise In Relationships:
- Effectively communicate your needs and wants to each other
- Listen to your spouse
- Be considerate and show empathy: This involves putting yourself in your partner’s shoes
- Objectively and carefully weigh your options
- Make a decision and follow it through.
Some areas of compromise In Relationships:
- Conflict resolution method: Avoid procrastination and constructively communicate your grievance to your spouse. Work towards speedy resolution of conflicts to avoid the dangers of carry-over fights.
- Sexual intimacy: For married couples, it is very possible that you have different libido, sexual drive and orientation with your spouse. Therefore, mutual consideration and understanding is key to reaching a compromise in your sex life and styles. I have heard spouses complain and even consider leaving their marriages because of issues on different libidos between them and their spouses. However, with efficient communication and consideration, you can reach a compromise on this area.
- You can add other areas that are peculiar to your marriage such as: place of residence, job types, parenting styles, family finance management and expenditure patterns, etc.