Saturday, February 14, 2009

How do you Compromise in your Marriage?

argumentImage by Robert in Toronto via Flickr

Everyone agrees that compromise is essential to a successful marriage. The essence of marriage is the ability to achieve closeness through blending two lives. Compromising your desires is essential if you are to be close.

Cold compromise is a form of compromise that many couples use which does not promote intimacy, but actually leads to emotional distance. Cold compromise is compromise that is given reluctantly or begrudgingly.

Here are five questions to ask about how you compromise with your partner:

  1. Is compromise reached in your relationship through caring or is it a byproduct of a power struggle?
  2. Do you find your arguments include concern for your feelings or are they simply a debate from two different viewpoints?
  3. Is it easier for you to give in than to press for a compromise?
  4. Are you able to get your partner to agree to your desires because he or she cares about you? Do you know that you have power because your partner cares?
  5. Are you able to share your desires in a vulnerable manner or do you have to be angry to get your way?
If your relationship has compromise based on passive giving in or aggressive winning, then this compromise is a cold compromise (although the arguments can be heated). A warm compromise takes into account you and your spouse's feelings. Acknowleging the importance of feelings is the path to caring.

Recall when you were dating and you rarely argued because differences seemed so small. They were not actually small; they were just softened by the desire to express caring.

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