The longer I stay married, the more I understand the importance of a little thing we call compromise. When I say compromise, I know that most of your minds go to not being difficult when choosing a restaurant or picking what movie to see.
That is not the compromise I am speaking of. I would call that being flexible, and yes, that is important as well. But compromise by its true definition means “a settlement of differences….”.
Little did I know that those differences may have nothing to do with our spouse and everything to do with our own expectations. I have always known what type of relationship I wanted, what type of career I wanted and what type of social life I wanted.
As time moved on and I began to acquire these things, it did not occur to me that I could create exactly what I thought I wanted and then end up not wanting it. Clearly, this is not an anomaly, it happens all of the time.
Sometimes you think you want something but you don’t
People go to school for a profession that they discover they really do not enjoy. People get married thinking it is going to be a certain way, discover it is not and decide they do not want it. Lastly, people very often place themselves in social situations they are not into at all.
I think it mostly has to do with the unknown. If we have never experienced something, we will create what we believe is fact and operate from that information. Not the greatest idea.
What happens when your reality and your beliefs come face to face and they are not aligned? I will tell you what…..compromise.
What compromising in a marriage means
With many other situations, you can work at changing the situation and making it more of what you want. With marriage, it is different because there is another person involved whom you cannot control. No one signs up for obstacles in their lives but they happen nonetheless.
What do you do when you find out that you or your partner cannot have children? Or that you have to move to Iowa to take care of the other’s grandmother?
How about when you and your spouse have built this perfect life and then their little brother asks if he can live with you guys for a while. Being able to embrace what your life is and let go of what you thought was going to be is the compromise.
Here are 3 ways to assist you, when you need to compromise:
- Assess whether what you want is current. Too often we get stuck in ideas from years ago and have not updated and evaluated if this is something we even still want. You may be surprised.
- Recognize that just because the layout may have changed, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy where you are.
- Remember that the chances that the situation is only temporary are very likely. Just hold on, it may change again.
Keep in mind that this is your only chance to live your life. Learn how to pivot and move on!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Kimberly VanBuren