“Try to see it my way, do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on? While you see it your way, run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone” …
It is what the Beatles recite in their song…AND THE RISK IS TRUE, when a balanced compromise doesn’t take place in a relationship.
I want you to stop for a minute and think about a key element that supports the act of compromising: TOLERANCE.
So let’s first examine the meaning of the word, as per dictionary: “TOLERANCE is the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with”; BUT ALSO: “the capacity to endure continued subjection to something, without adverse reaction”.
Now, for this last statement, particularly about the word subjection, the dictionary refers to drugs, antigens, transplant or environmental conditions however, I find it very much applicable to relationships.
Let’s see why and what are the pros and cons of gifting our relationship with tolerance, in the following cases.
PROS: HOUSEHOLD AND EVERY DAY LIFE
We all have our habits, fixations and obsessions which, from individual baggage become a shared baggage with your companion.
If you start debating which of the items in your baggage are right or wrong, you’ll never get out of it; the idea is to SHARE the baggage not to throw it at each other.
For instance: a woman may be more accurate in housecleaning and organizing while the man is a handyman who can fix things, saving the costs of replacing it or hiring a professional.
On a personal note, I confess I throw away objects I don’t even attempt to fix, while my husband employs all his resources and actually successfully fixes it :).
You MAY SAY: “Ok, but housecleaning and organizing is an every day task while repairing stuff is occasional” and you are right! So here is when compromise (and collaboration) shall come into place and how:
- Ask your companion to take on some of your chores; the results may not meet your standards of perfection but… they are trying! Alternatively, and more constructively, SHOW THEM HOW: teaching instead of judging is more beneficial.
However, it is also true that during the first stage of a relationship we all are much more condescending, while after a few years the “teaching” becomes synonymous of “annoying”, to the point to where you wonder: WHEN and WHY did we stop learning from each other?
WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE FOLLOWING SOLUTIONS:
- Look away: when your companion makes the effort and you keep complaining, he/she is going to feel inadequate and drop the ball entirely.
Learn to appreciate that half thing done is better than NO thing done; just take it as it is, if you want relief from your chores or… FIX IT, possibly without letting your partner know, so they’ll still feel good about helping and you feel good about the effort you receive.
Getting collaboration without having to ask all the time, is still a big psychological relief.
- Make a list of things to do: AS MUCH AS I HATE TO BE THE MOTHER OF THE SITUATION because I assume that the things that need to be done are OBVIOUS, it turns out things are not as obvious to your soulmate.
My husband asks me to make a list so if that’s what your companion needs JUST DO IT, meet the request and look at it as an offer to help.
Groceries, pick up the kids, wash the car, pay the bills, cut the grass, pick up from dry cleaning, cook dinner…there are number of things your companion can do while you do the things you think you do better :).
CONS: THE ONE WAY EFFORTS
On a deeper and more involving side, take a woman (or a man) dealing with an abusive partner (psychologically or physically), or a cheater, or an addict or one with no will whatsoever of sharing chores and responsibilities.
Although some of the characteristics just listed have good chances to be fixed with therapy, when your companions persevere in not improving a behavior or situation that is negatively affecting the relationship, it’s like the ball is thrown in your court with no hope for it to be caught when your re launch it…
Your tolerance and compromising “skills” are abused, as they become unrecognized and given for granted, which makes the relationship grow heavily UNBALANCED.
Whether for love, strength or weakness, maternal instincts or altruism, some of us are more empathetic than others – meaning that we resist the abuse longer -.
Our understanding and hopes get pulled and stretched for long periods of time, even years, and that’s when “the capacity to endure continued subjection to something, without adverse reaction” above mentioned, turns into either masochism or…DELUSION.
When in fact it becomes evident that we are compromising way more (if not entirely) than our companion but despite the evidence we keep believing that “everything will be all right”, we are being delusional. Sadly.
At some point though, the reality we are preciously hiding in our hearts that we don’t want our brain to see, will slap us in the face and we will realize that:
WHAT WE CANNOT CHANGE, WE HAVE TO (or we will) GIVE UP. We simply can’t make others, who they are not.
What are your thoughts? I look forward to read it in the comment section!
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