I was in an Intercultural class when my professor caught my attention by saying the most astonishing thing. She pointed out that a relationship, even marriage, that has compromise is a failing relationship and that a successful relationship is one that had collaboration.
Now obviously being a married woman, I was stunned! I had based my whole life on the idea that in order to gain something one had to compromise a little and it was the same attitude that I expected my husband to adopt so that our marriage remained a strong and successful one.
All ready to argue my point, I held back and decided to sit down and listen to her theory. And this is how it went; a relationship that had compromise was a lose-lose relationship since both parties had to give up something in order to gain something hence they didn’t really get what they wanted where as a couple that collaborated was a win-win situation since they got exactly what they wanted.
Listen to that voice in your head and I’m pretty sure it’s screaming as was mine that OMG THAT IS SO SELFISH!! Marriage is a union that requires one to be selfless and give up for someone else’s happiness right?!?!
Outraged as I was I kept quiet and decided that I would think about this and if I still disagreed with her then I would tell her next class. And after much thought this is the conclusion I have come up with:
All Muddled up thoughts summarized for YOU with LOVE !!
As I have repeatedly mentioned, marriage is a union- in this case a relationship that most of us enter willingly. In this relationship we expect to find happiness in a partner that we can share our everyday life with, our great highs and low lows. We would also like our partners to expect the same from us. Now looking at marriage through this very “scratch the surface” definition I can see my professor’s point of view. If we are to enter marriage for happiness and for our partner’s happiness then it is only fair to say that we both do what truly makes us happy. HOWEVER I don’t agree that marriage has no room for compromise and that it is what makes a bad marriage, sometimes the greatest sacrifices are made because of love and although in that moment in time we may not get what we want, the increase in respect and love or anything else that we gain is a long term benefit for us too. A simple example; I know my husband loves vanilla cake and I myself am more of a chocolate cake kinda girl but when I do make it I often make a marble cake, with a little bit more vanilla. This is not my ideal cake and neither is it his ideal cake, but when we cut a slice and sit down to have tea with it- that moment in time that we both get with each other’s company is worth the compromise- for BOTH of us.
As I was writing this article I held the idea that an example of collaboration would be the hardest one to find for me since how can both parties get exactly what they want? It’s a bit of a “too good to be true” situation but I was surprised to realize that there were plenty of those too. For example, I love having some time to myself at the end of a week- to wind down and relax from the week and my husband enjoys having some time with his friends therefore we came up with Volleyball Fridays- that is; on Friday nights I get to sit down, watch a movie, unfortunately binge on ice cream and other junk and my husband plays volleyball with his friends.
This is one of many simple examples, we do it almost automatically so that each partner in the marriage is content. And I genuinely think after this class and much thinking collaboration and compromise both add up to make a more successful marriage.