Is your spouse the kind of person that loves to hear him/herself talk? Does it always seem like the end to an argument proves to be at your expense because there is never compromise? I am of the opinion that compromise is the single most important tool that all couples should have in their remarriage toolbox.
Partners in remarriage often struggle in the area of compromise because they are under the false impression going into same that “first comes love – then comes remarriage – then comes happily ever after,” hence they forget that you are not just blending your families, you are merging your values. It is very hard to merge values without compromise. Think about it, when you blend families, unfair burdens are placed on stepparents and stepkids from the very beginning. Everyone is expected to get along, birthparents assume you are going to love your stepkids and that your stepkids are going to love you and there you have the first of many misunderstandings wherein you will need to be able to apply your abilities to compromise.
The first step to positive compromise is healthy communication. Life partners often forget when going through tough times that communication begins and ends with “both” the sender and the receiver. Just as it takes two to tango in an argument, it takes two to compromise, hear one another and fix it. When we are not applying compromise to our positions during conversational communication, the receiver never truly understands the message you are trying to send. Kela and I have said over and over and it is worth repeating now, every human being desires to be heard. They want to know that their opinion matters. Emphatic listening to your spouse will take you far in being able to effectively compromise. Keeping an open mind and being open to hearing their side of the conflict matters greatly. It is selfish to shut out your spouses thoughts and feelings just because you want to only get your point across. It never works.
It’s no secret, couples who compromise thrive. The essence of marriage is the ability to achieve an unbreakable bond and closeness that cannot compare to anything else. If you desire this type of unbreakable bond, compromise is not just needed, it is essential. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Appreciate that both you and your spouse have been raised differently. You are not going to always find that you agree on the same things (i.e., parenting styles, finance situations, emotional needs, etc.)
- Respect each other’s views and opinions.
- Kick “pride” to the curb! Marriage is not a contest and compromise should not be looked upon as weakness. It is actually one of the strongest tools you have in your (re)marriage toolbox.
- Give and take. Marriage is not unilateral and does not thrive with only one person doing all of the taking and the other doing all of the giving. You have to always have your spouses best interests in mind and at heart.
- Take a keen interest in your spouses feelings. This will help you when you have to apply compromise. Know their values so you can effectively merge yours into his/hers.
- Be aware and work hard to come to mutual understandings. By doing this, you are teaching each other to be conscious of what your relationship means to one another.
- Pay attention to your language and your tone. I cannot stress enough the importance of “hearing yourself.” How we say things really matters. It is tough when you are going through stress to be mindful of this but it really does matter. Remember, your message never gets across if your approach stinks.
- Always examine the pros and the cons of the situation before approaching your spouse. This way, you are not heading into your communication with just negative cards in your pocket.
I will leave you with this one final thought. In the beginning of every relationship, each person always puts their best foot forward. Your passionate stage is in full effect and we are always on our best behavior. We want these feelings to last forever and will do whatever it takes. A lot of times, after marriage, we tend to forget that the timbers in our fires need to continually be tended to in order to keep the fire burning. Learning the art of compromise allows this closeness to continue and allows both you and your partner to meet one another’s needs together as a couple. At the end of the day, it will always return to you balance and joy if you apply it effectively. Care about your spouses heart and always attempt to apply compromise when faced with tough situations. It will be well worth your effort.
Peace & Blessings,