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Compromise in Marriage (Without Shooting Yourself in the Foot)




How to Compromise in Marriage: The Quest for Perfection


You know what I am talking about.
So many couples reach out, looking for help with their communication.

Compromising is right up there, a close second.  They’ll say they need help making decisions. They want to learn how to compromise better.

To compromise is by definition:

“To make a deal between different parties where each party gives up part of their demand. In arguments, compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication, through a mutual acceptance of terms often involving variations from an original goal or desires.”

It’s what we all want when we are unable or unwilling to give up our end of the deal. It’s what we go to when we need to meet in the middle.

It’s 50/50.


How to Compromise in Marriage: The Problem with Said Quest for Perfection


That’s precisely it. We expect it to be 50/50  – even if it’s unsaid.

Even though neither one of you dares say that out loud to the other.

I am only willing to meet you halfway. Halfway and not one inch further. 

We expect to get half of our demands and only give in to half of what our partner wants.

Every. Time.

And – you guessed it!

That’s where the shooting yourself in the foot comes into play.

Because that’s not what compromise is.

It doesn’t specify the percentages.

Somehow it’s been so engrained in our system that we don’t even know where it comes from.


How to Compromise in Your Marriage: The Reality


While 50/50 IS what we expect, it’s not what’s often doable.

Or best for the given situation, for that matter.

Yet when we get less than that – OR – flipped on its head – when more than half is asked of us, we throw a fit.

And yes, compromising in a 50/50 way – it’s a tall order.

It doesn’t limit how many of what you get OR how many times you are out of luck.

Sometimes the split will be 90/10.

Other times it will be 60/40.

It’ll all depend.


How to Compromise in Your Marriage: What To Do


No matter what the split is, you are best off letting go of the 50/50 paradigm and examining every situation as it comes up.

Even though sometimes – it may surprise you and be just that (50/50).

But that will be the exception rather than the rule.

There are three parts to this:

  1. Where do I stand?
  2. Where do you stand?
  3. How can we both win? (READ: What can I do so that we can both win?)

Because no matter how many fits you will throw, if you end up winning and your spouse loses, you both lose.

Same is true the other way around – if you lose and they win, you both lose.

You lose as a couple.

And that’s where it drags you down.

SO – Think about what’s more important – is it that it’s even and ‘fair’?

Or – is it more important that you both are able to walk away, knowing that you are good?

Good together…

You decide.

And next time you do this, let me know how it goes.