Learning to compromise with your spouse: the 7 essential steps
He wants the bathroom window left closed, I want it left open. He wants extra shelves in the bedroom, I want extra drawers. He likes heavy forks and knives, I like light, thin ones that bend when you try to use them. I, of course, and the one in the right, and he, of course, is the one who should learn to compromise.
Yes, The Boyf and I have moved into our first home together. In fact, we’ve already been living together for a year and a half already, but it was in a rental apartment that was so tiny and wretched, that we were merely existing…not really living. And now we have realised the dream – the dream of our own mansion (well, three bedroom townhouse) and it’s compromise, compromise, compromise – for both of us.
According to the author of a relationship “help” book called Try to See It My Way B. Janet Hibbs,“Couples often hold different beliefs about what’s fair, and when we feel we’re being wronged, resentment builds up.” I think the doctor has a point. Usually it’s when we both think we’re correct and being fair that the real problems begin.
“Fairness isn’t an accounting system,” Hibbs says. “It’s a flexible balance of give-and-take that you agree upon in the context of your relationship.” OK then, but how?
I thought I would pull together a selection of advice for couples who need to learn how to compromise. Honestly, I would prefer if he’s just do everything my way, but I now realise that that’s never, ever going to happen.
Define your terms
It’s important to be clear about where you can bend, and where you have to stay firm. Communicate this with your partner and this should help with negations. It’s important to know exactly where you have wiggle room, and where you don’t.
Don’t be hostile
I’m not sure if I totally agree, but The Two of Us says, “Compromise is often best described using military terms. To successfully negotiate with your partner, you cannot approach him/her as your enemy,” they say. The site even bothers to add, “A hostile attitude only makes the situation worse.” OK great, thanks.
Hibbs says, “Putting yourself in your partner’s shoes builds trust and goodwill, which are the building blocks of fairness and when he feels like he’s being appreciated, it starts a flow of generosity and he’ll be more likely to go out of his way for you.”
Do not compromise your ideals or morals
We all need to compromise but blogger Karen Salmansohn tells a warning tale about how she went too far with compromising for an ex-partner, who her friends ended up calling “The Bad Man” after he demanded she give up things like her morning yoga class, just to be controlling. Read her harrowing tale of warning here.
Talk about the small issues
Those little irritants really do matter, says social research professor Terri L. Orbuch. “Couples say that what surprised them most about their marriage is that they really have to address the little things that are irritating them,” she explains, “which is the opposite of what you hear in the media about letting the small stuff go.” .
Work on a solution that works for both parties
According to Mark and Angel Hack Life, “Ultimately, love is when another person’s happiness is equally as important as your own.” I really like that idea. I can tell that my Boyf really cares about my needs and feelings and I have never, ever had a man show me so much love and respect – so I know that he is the one. “Two people don’t stay in love because they sleep in the same bed, but because they share the same foundation of honesty, trust, and respect,” says the duo.
Don’t always try to be right
I am, of course, always right, but for the sake of my relationship, sometimes I allow him to be right too. Even when he’s not. “When you want to win, you’re not listening to the other side of the argument or conversation,” says Alison Renner of LifeHack. “Suspend your need to be right and listen to your partner.”
So, there you have it. A few ways that you might try to compromise more nicely with your beloved partner. Learning to compromise is a great skill to have and one that I am constantly trying to improve myself on. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” John F. Kennedy
And to my sweetheart – thank you for doing everything, always to please me so much. I truly love you and deeply appreciate your efforts.
Do you find it hard to compromise with your partner? Tell me in the comments section below!