Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Art of Compromise

As a newlywed, I'm happy I didn't have any unrealistic ideas of how marriage would be in comparison to my dating life with Philip. I am definitely a realist and don't create too many expectations {although, yes, I do have some and need to work on conveying them in my marriage...that's a topic for another day}.

Marriage isn't rainbows and butterflies everyday, even as a newlywed. Life goes on. Sometimes it isn't happy every single moment. I knew that going into my marriage - I expected it to be a lot like our engagement since we already lived together. And it has been like that. Although, the one thing that's different, is that we keep trying to improve, so we're constantly evolving into a better version of ourselves as a couple.

I truly believe in the art of compromise. It's really the best way to make sure everyone is generally happy. I think this is one of those areas where Philip and I are actually okay at once we actually talk about whatever the issue or disagreement is, which is great. But I've been thinking...

It seems as we grow older and our lives take this turn into a new, adult chapter together {hey, I'm still a kid in my head!} our opinions and ideas on things may become stronger since the topics may be more heavy.

 {Me, 2, Hawaii}                             {Philip, 6, Atlanta}
Simpler times with no heavy decisions to make and no need for compromising on anything except taking a nap in exchange for dessert after dinner.

Compromising on house chores is one thing, but what about decisions about how to invest money left over after bills are paid? Or if you should move to a city or state closer to your family? Or decisions on how to address a problem with your child?

We've had to discuss topics like the ones above...we obviously don't have kids yet, so we don't need to go there, but you get the idea.

There are a couple of topics on the table right now - not too serious, but not things that are as light as house chores either. He says "yes" and I say "no". So what happens when you vehemently stand by your opinion and it's over a more serious topic that makes it harder to stand down or compromise?

I have a hard time telling Philip 100% "no" to things sometimes because I don't want to be viewed as that stereotypical bitchy wife who kills all her husband's fun hopes and dreams even over the little things. But when I show hesitation and initially say "no", although not very strongly, he still views me as shooting him down "ALL the time". ::Hmph::

I'll say there are two things we're dealing with now, one more serious than the other which is the one I feel more strongly about. {I'll tell you that it involves safety, so my opinion IS legit in saying "no".}

How do you think compromise works best? Bend on every single issue so you're 50/50 on everything? Let go 100% on some things and don't give at all on others? Or if there are multiple topics on the table, make a trade - one for one?

Maybe it's a mixture of the above and you can't always map out how everything is going to be handled? I'm leaning towards that answer. And for the two items on the table for us right now, I'm leaning towards the last example I gave...give in on the one I don't feel as strongly about to make a trade for the one I do feel more strongly about. Now will it work? Who knows, you never can tell how your husband/wife will respond, but you can only try to do your best.

Is the art of compromise a big foundation of your relationship/marriage?

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