An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.
It is a word that is so frequently tossed around in discussion of marriage that it has almost lost its meaning. Almost.
Compromise is not easy. It is not simple. And it is the basic foundation of every single marriage. Without compromise, marriage just wouldn't work.
Learn to be a pro at compromising--and I don't mean, you trade this favor for that favor. I mean the art of recognizing when a particular decision means more to one than the other. Compromising should be motivated first and foremost by the desire to value the other more than oneself. It means giving up the tv so that your wife or girlfriend can watch E-News. It means acknowledging that sometimes you both think you are wrong and that it is more important for someone to give in rather than be right.
Oh, and failing to compromise can results in conflict completely by accident. Figuring out holidays is something that seems obvious but is much more complicated than you might think. Yeah, you get through the when you are going where because the need to solve that is obvious. But how about the timing of a holiday? On New Year's Eve, Court and I blindsided each other without even realizing. Being the native Tennessean that I am, I have seen the ball drop in Times Square a grand total of three times in my life (as of this past New Year's Eve). Since it has always corresponded with 11:00 where I have lived, it just has never meant much. Celebrating it with my wife this year, I assumed that midnight (as the actual mark of the beginning of the new year) was the most important. Well, unbeknownst to myself, Courtney celebrates when the ball drops and not a midnight. Stage set: conflict.
Moral of the story? Compromising takes effort and work. It isn't always easy. And the most important thing to remember: never assume that you understand why the conflict happened. It could be a simple as the person really didn't know a moment was supposed to be important. Compromising takes knowledge, communication, and effort.
Oh, and celebrating New Year's? Looks like it'll happen at 11:00 and midnight for this family.
(For my wife's corresponding take, click here)