So I've had several conversations recently with a few of my girlfriends, who've shared with me situations that they feel warrant compromise in their relationships. What I've found from having these conversations is a couple of things, but primarily that there's a great misunderstanding of when and how to compromise in relationships.
We often hear the term compromise used in marriages, as marriage is understood to be a lifetime commitment, so there's definitely an expectation of compromise there. However, because we too often blur the line between marriage, and non marital relationships, we struggle with identifying appropriate situations that require the act of compromise.
Thus I've composed this post to assist with identifying the differences in scenarios where you would compromise yourself, instead of actually compromising in a given situation.
"Don't compromise yourself, compromise in a situation!"-Audreyanna Garrett
Can you identify when you are compromising yourself, versus compromising in a situation?
Many will unconsciously answer yes, but I have found that most often we confuse compromising ourselves very easily with compromising in a situation.
Now when I say compromise ourselves, I am referring to compromising our level of respect, moral and/or minimizing our worth, and things of that sort.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE WHEN YOU ARE COMPROMISING YOURSELF!
If you and your partner get into an argument and you notice for the first time that your partner has blatantly disrespected you. And he/she in turns says that you were disrespected for whatever reason, basically putting the disrespect off on your actions, while taking no accountability for his/her behavior. In this particular scenario if your partner advises that this is just how he/she will react to you when you behave a certain way; PLEASE NOTE that something major just happened:
Your partner basically just told you that you will continue to get disrespected, and he or she will not change that behavior. They are letting you know that moving forward if you act in that way, expect the same reaction then as you are receiving NOW.
Therefore if this goes unaddressed you are agreeing to ultimately compromise your expectation of respect and happiness.
But if the situation is addressed and your partner accepts being wrong, and you can even identify and acknowledge your fault. You two have succeed at identifying that you value one another and respect one another enough to be accountable.
BUT if your partner acknowledges his/her fault yet continues to repeat the behavior from time to time...
THAN you learn that if you fail to address the disrespect each time because you "don't want to deal with having the conversation over again", than you are allowing your respect to be compromised and your value in the relationship diminishes, over time.
YOU BASICALLY ARE COMPROMISING YOURSELF.
And your desire to rationalize that you are compromising, comes from your unwillingness to address the disrespect head on. But in order to get the result you desire, you must learn how to communicate what actual COMPROMISE looks like.
"The greatest difference is that being compromised speaks to one's worth or value, where as an actual compromise (the act of) speaks to a shift or change in behavior for desired results."
HOW TO COMPROMISE IN A SITUATION!
In order to illustrate how to properly compromise, first let's look at the definition of compromise.
If you're having an argument with your significant other, who never helps you with taking care of the house chores or daily routines with your children, than you all compromise when you reach an agreement that states that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday one agrees to do house chores, while the other assists with daily routine of children. And on Tuesday and Thursday the roles are reversed, but you agree that you will stick to this routine in order for it to be mutually beneficial.
THIS is what it looks like when you compromise in a situation.
ANOTHER LOOK AT WHEN YOU'RE COMPROMISING YOURSELF!
Now let's take the aforementioned scenario into consideration, and say that the "compromise" now looks as follows:
One partner continues to do all of the housework and help with the children because the other either doesn't care to assume the responsibility, and/or tells their partner it's their responsibility, so they need to figure it out. In turn, the non-helpful partner antagonizes the other when chores are not done.
In this situation, the partner who assumes the work load is compromising his/herself.
I know some people like to think that compromise is "not saying anything" in order to minimize/limit household conflict, but I am here to tell you that nothing about that is compromise.
If you're not happy in your relationship, and fail to address your needs because you don't want to "hear your partner's mouth", than you are in a unhealthy relationship, and you will continue to compromise yourself, until you either address your needs with your partner or walk away.
And addressing your needs could very well be in the form of counsel, with a neutral party, but as long as the intent to address the concerns are there, that attempt is valid.
Only two things will happen from your attempt to address your concerns and needs, 1)Either your partner will be receptive to change, or 2)They will not.
And in most cases if they are not, losing you is the ONLY way for them to re-acquaint themselves with your worth. AGAIN I REPEAT--losing you is the ONLY way for them to re-acquaint themselves with your worth.
So if you can not successfully address your needs, than by all means please WALK AWAY. Because while I know some of you seem to think that even marriages that have no compromise are meant to be, I am sorry to say that's false, and you have trapped yourself in a mindset of "this is the way things should and will always be".
Compromising yourself is like playing with a grenade, because it will eventually EXPLODE! So know that compromising yourself, will never ever yield change and/or progress.
I hope this post aides with clarification. We all deserve better, but we only receive what we deem ourselves worthy of.
SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!