Here’s What Would Happen If Couples Just Learned to Compromise

BY: - 29 Mar '17 | Marriage

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I recently had a client, who was afraid to get into a relationship, say, “I just don’t want to lose myself in a relationship.” Well of course I peeled that onion back and discovered that the core of the issue was that my client didn’t realize that compromising isn’t the same thing as settling. Why has the word compromise become a 4-letter word instead of a 10-letter word!?

Why has the word compromise become a 4-letter word instead of a 10-letter word!?

For some reason, it seems like we’ve become more stubborn than selfless in our relationships. We’ve been convinced that giving of ourselves makes us weak…when it’s actually the thing that makes us stronger. The truth of the matter is that in any healthy relationship you are going to have to compromise.

Why Compromise Is Different from Settling

It’s true, in both compromise and settling you are getting less than expected. But settling is something that you more or less decide to do on your own – – except less. Where as compromise means that you have worked out a deal with the person you are relationship with. You are trying to find middle ground. I think that is why compromising can be so good for the relationship. Because when you do it right, you are both working together for the common of good for the relationship.  Yes, you give up some things…but in the end you can gain so much more.

Here are 5 additional reasons that compromising is important for the strength of your relationship.

  1. It shows some vulnerability when you’re willing to let go of some control.
  2. It shows a strong partnership where it’s not about one person, but about two people working together.
  3. It shows an ability to communicate because compromise only exists when two people can communicate in a healthy way.
  4. It shows a willingness to sacrifice and sacrifice is a strong trait in healthy relationships
  5. It opens up the doors of honesty because it shows that you can disagree in a healthy way.

And here are four areas where couples often have to make compromises.

Friendships

When you get into a relationship, the only way to make the relationship strong, and keep it strong, is to spend time together. Meaning, you may have to compromise on some of that time you used to spend talking with your girls or hanging with the guys, so that you can spend some of that time with your partner.

This doesn’t mean that you must get rid of all your friends. But, it does mean that healthy boundaries must be set. You may no longer be able to go to the same places you all used to go or hang with all the opposite-sex folks you used hang with. You may not be as accessible as you used to be.

Setting boundaries and sacrificing some of the time you spend with friends doesn’t mean you’re losing yourself. But it’s a compromise you had to make to gain a strong relationship. 

Activities

Before the relationship, all you liked to do was drink and party or sit around the house doing nothing. Well, when you’re in a relationship with someone else who may have a different idea of fun, sometimes you’re going to have to do some of the things they like to do.

Sometimes you may have to go to that museum or a cooking class or movie, instead. This doesn’t mean you’re being controlled or that they your mate is trying to “change” you, it just means you’re finding alternative ways to spend time together and it’s the time spent that matters most.

Chores

Before your relationship, you never washed clothes or dishes…you just did things when you felt like it. WELP, you guessed it, sometimes you’re going to be asked to do things that aren’t on your time or the way in which you used to do them.

So the compromise will be, instead washing the clothes once a month, let’s wash them once a week. It doesn’t mean you’re being told what to do or being given chores like a child.  It just means you’re doing what’s necessary to keep the house clean and smelling good now that it’s two people there.

Career

For many people, work can become the dominant thing in their life and their career or business can take priority over everything. Some find it hard to make time for anyone else.  But once you’re in a relationship, you must compromise.

Your mate wants to feel like they are a priority in your life, thus some of the time that you spent working may have to be spent putting in quality time. This doesn’t mean that your spouse doesn’t “understand” or that they don’t want you to do well at work, or that they are trying to sabotage your business. It just means that you have to find better balance and come to a compromise about what you need from one another.

When you are faced with compromise in your relationship, remember that you may be losing some of yourself but at the same time gaining more within the relationship. The bottom line is that compromise will always be necessary but it doesn’t have to cause a power struggle. If you change the way you view the idea of compromise, then it will be a lot easier to do it and your relationship will be better for it.

About the author

Troy Spry wrote 225 articles on this blog.

Troy Spry a Certified Life, Dating, and Relationship Coach and the one and only "Reality Expert", resides in Charlotte, NC. He created his blog, Xklusive Thoughts, with the intent of putting out a very realistic perspective and using it as a vehicle for inspiration! He hopes to challenge people to think differently and inspire people to do and be better in relationships and in life!

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Healthy Black Marriages Do Exist

BY: - 29 Mar '17 | Marriage

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I stumbled across a Facebook post a couple of weeks ago and found the topic so interesting I had to write about it. The post was in response to all the praise pouring in for rap’s new super couple, Remy Ma and Papoose. It questioned why black folks were acting like we had never seen a happy black couple before. It read as follows:

“My Remy and Papoose assessment:

Truth be told, there is nothing extra special about their relationship…….because those kinds of relationships exist everywhere, every single day.
The reason why we think it’s so special is because we think we are witnessing something that is not common, when in reality it is.”

I see black love every single day in my friend’s and family’s relationship….witnessed the exact same kind of love and even more with my Uncle Richard and his wife and it lasted for 50 years until her passing last year.

The difference is, we truthfully don’t believe that kind of love exists. Sometimes because we ourselves have not experienced it, OR….in my honest opinion, WE DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE IT because it’s not at celebrity status.

Take a look around and give your family and friends their just due…..a man doesn’t have to be a celebrity to get pub for being a great man, a great father, a great surrogate father…..he just has to be…a man.”

I loved this post because it was an honest assessment of the perception of black love and marriage. My response was the following:

“Good point. I agree, I got a great black man myself. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see positive images of black love in the media. Once we see it more often, it won’t seem like an anomaly. And we won’t have to get all hyped about the basic everyday stuff that’s happening in marriages everyday already.”

Now I don’t watch Love and Hip Hop, but I do understand why seeing a couple in love, in rap culture may be a big deal to some.

The reality is that we praise celebrities for professing their love, especially celebrity men, because we don’t see it nearly enough. I also don’t think it’s wrong for us to get excited when we see a happy black couple in love. It should actually make the rest of us happy. I am, however, looking forward to the day when it feels more like our new normal. When it becomes an expectation.

Healthy black marriages aren’t an anomaly. They do exist everywhere and every day. Black love is real. It’s unfortunate that we don’t always get a chance to celebrate it, but we can all contribute to changing that.

We can attend and help promote events that encourage healthy marriages. We can also share images, articles, books and tv shows that highlight the good in our marriages. We can even post anniversary messages on social media to the couples we love who are doing it right.

Again, we can all play a role in spreading the word to those who still don’t know there are healthy black couples among us. Believe me, healthy black marriage is alive and well.

BMWK, what else can we do to help promote positive images of black love and marriage?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 628 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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