Before you got married, how many times did you hear the advice from others that one of the recipes for a successful marriage is to be able to compromise? I remember distinctly that before my wedding day, the number one advice that I received from married wives is that I must learn how to compromise. I thought to myself, “how hard can it be to compromise with the one you love”? Well, let me tell you that after nearly 30 years of marriage, we still work on compromising. It is definitely an ongoing task, that although is helpful, is sometimes frustrating. First, let us define the word “compromise”. According to the on-line dictionary, it is defined as “an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions”. Okay, so how do we relate it to marriage? John and Julie Gottman recognize the importance of compromising with your partner, therefore have developed a system called “The Art of Compromise”.
The primary goal utilizing the exercise of The Art of Compromise is to “Yield to Win”. This means that it is important to understand each other’s “Core Needs and Areas of Flexibility”. Here are several questions that may be asked of each other after you both have identified your core needs and areas of flexibility:
What are your core beliefs, feelings, and values about this issue?
What do we agree about?
What are our common goals?
How can we accomplish these goals?
How can we help each other meet our core needs?
What is a temporary compromise that we can experiment with?
Ultimately, the premise of compromising is to come up with an agreement that may require both of you to lean towards each other, however without giving up what is important to you! Remember, it is vital to compromise with your partner in a way that shows you love each other.