Compromise in Relationships: The Secret Cost of Happiness

Compromise in Relationships: The Secret Cost of Happiness

Compromise in relationships isn’t always easy, but it’s incredibly important.

I have talked about my sleep before. I love my sleep and I want to get as much as I can. I am also a light sleeper, so when my husband breathes or stretches I feel the effects. I have gotten used to his way of sleeping, but lately when I wake up in the middle of the night he apparently wakes too (must be our ages—we’re getting older).

The new trend is, I try to get back to sleep as soon as possible and I am almost there and then he will move or make a noise and this move or sound wakes me up. I will try again to get back to sleep and I am almost there and then he will make a noise or move and I will wake up again. This has been happening a lot lately.

Avoiding Suffering Often Requires Compromise or Sacrifice

Compromise in relationships means making some sacrifices.

All of us know what it feels like to be suddenly awakened. And if you are just settling into a deep snooze it can be jarring!

Last night when this trend started to happen, I decided to get up and go sleep in another room. I grab my pillow, a sweatshirt, some shoes. The dog follows me to the spare room by the front door where I’ll be ready to take her out, first thing in the morning.

Compromise in Relationships Means Giving Up Something Small in Exchange for Something Greater

This takes planning. I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. But the alternative is to wake him up and say, “Please stop moving,” or “I know you are awake, why don’t you get up.” Because if I say these things to him he will say, “I am not moving and I am not awake,” and then we have some sort of conversation where we are almost arguing about it when both of us are just trying to get some sleep.

So, to avoid all that, I just picked up my things and went to the spare room. No big deal right? Well it really was a big deal to me. I don’t want to get up out of my warm bed. I am also getting really mad that I have to do this to get sleep. I can feel myself walking to the other room filled with distress. I am distressed and I can’t even give you a reason why. I just feel the distress all through me.

Happiness May Require Making Peace with Your Compromises

Making peace with compromise made in a relationship

That’s when I started talking to myself; you know when that really smart part of you on the inside gives you a good idea that really works? I started hearing my inner voice telling me there is nothing to worry about, everything is OK.

These thoughts calmed me down and as I curled up inside the other bed I felt safe, and warm and peaceful. The doggie is asleep on the bed also. If she can just close her eyes, I can too. And I did. I slept until I woke up the next day.

…And Making Peace with Your Compromise May Require Self-Talk

So how did I do that? How did I stop seeing my husband’s noise and movements as torture and my husband as the torturer? I just felt myself telling myself, “I am OK, nothing to be upset about. You can sleep and have a good night.”

I am still marveling that it happened. And when it did, I felt the end of my suffering. I no longer suffered holding on to the discomforting thoughts about how my husband did something to me. I don’t think I just let it go, I really believe I had a different thought that I would be OK. The thought, “I am OK,” calmed me down. I no longer suffered with the other discomforting thoughts blaming my husband.

Take Time to Reflect on Compromises You Make

Is this a breakthrough? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it was just one moment that I looked at, in order to understand how to be less uncomfortable in my own body. And maybe, at least for that moment, it was enough.

Rebuild Trust in Your Partner and Your Relationship

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Can’t make it on Monday? If you’d like some help learning about communication and compromise in relationships, try reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you understand each other better, helping you find a nice middle-ground. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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