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Can’t We All Just Get Along: Compromises Necessary To Strengthen Your Relationship

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

With the New Year upon us, most of us have begun a new journey toward a new and improved lifestyle. From the way we eat, to our daily routine, and how we approach our relationships, the New Year, gives us a new opportunity to make the new and necessary changes for a better, happy, healthier lifestyle, and that often translates into compromise. We have to compromise our food choices, our food portions, what we do with our spare time (spend it with children, watch TV or take care of our body and mind), and of course how we treat and relate to our partner.

While most of us seem to do okay with the relatively simple concept in most areas of our lives, meeting our mate in the middle remains one of our greatest challenges. But according to experts, relationships are all about “relating” and that’s what most of us still need to learn how to do. While most of us have refined the fine art of bottling up emotions until we either explode or simply remove ourselves entirely from the situation, experts suggest we need to learn the art of give and take, when to give, when to take and how much.

And, with that said, they (the experts) assert that there are common areas of compromise and negotiation that we all “fall short” in. Among these:

1. Quality Time: We’ve heard the term used, if not overused and “abused”, but few of us have actually mastered what it demands of us. Quality time together is more than simply setting time aside (from our respective busy schedules) to discuss the finances, air our grievances or head for the bedroom. Quality time implicates time for couples to do something that’s enjoyable and gratifying for both, which will draw both parties physically and emotionally closer. The problem however arises in identifying said activities.

Most men would opt for watching “The Game” or renting a movie (usually featuring lots of blood, gore, and adventure) and then heading for a quickie during half-time or commercials, while most ladies would prefer a nice drive, perhaps some shopping and a nice meal and some entertainment, that doesn’t involve getting naked or horizontal.

Experts suggest reverting back to the mentality of your dating phase where each of you tried to please and impress the other. You may have suffered through a game to please and appease him, while he “automatically” felt the need and urge to wine you and dine you afterwards to show his appreciation. You may even want to think about making a sport out of sports or shopping, etc. Watch the game with him and make a little wager. If your team wins, he either has to take you shopping or to your favorite restaurant, but if his team wins, he gets to pick the restaurant and/or the festivities.

Also women need to learn how to become more independent. Don’t anticipate him sharing the same enthusiasm for the mall or the bookstore as you. Save this time as a special time for you, you and the girls (including your daughter, your mom, even your mother-in-law). When you want to do something “fun” with him, put on that new outfit you just bought and consider going out bowling, shooting pool or catching his latest, favorite flick.

2. Functioning In A “Dysfunctional” Family: Most of the “troubles couples face revolve around family and friends. Let’s face it, most of us know and see our friends and family’s faults but have either overlooked them or learned to deal with them. However, according to experts, it’s important to remember that our loved one my now be part of our family, but they are still “strangers” and won’t be quite as accepting or forgiving.

Dealing with a loved one’s loved ones can be extremely difficult under the strains and pressures most modern couples face. With two parties generally working and each having a need (and their own idea) of how to unwind and who to unwind with….and frequently that may not include your friends or family.

As far a friends are concerned, while you MUST be careful about how you express your feelings, experts suggest that you always remain “gracious” and hope that with time, responsibility and perhaps even a family of their own, your spouse and his/her friend will grow apart.

With regards to family, you may be called upon to tolerate just a bit more. Remember, even if your spouse agrees with you on certain issues, family is still family, and he or she may be more reluctant about severing ties and associations. Since you “do” have to deal with them (for the most part) it’s imperative you learn how to get along. And, it’s important that your partner help in that process. Try to avoid maligning his or her family (no matter how bad they are) but lovingly helping him or her see why they are causing you such discomfort and “uneasiness”. Try to reach a common understanding and meet on common ground. For instance, if his parents smoke and they refuse to change their ways, perhaps you can accept HIM visiting them without you (and/or the kids) and then asking him to shower as soon as he gets home, or conceding to visit them ONLY during holidays on their terms, otherwise they have to visit YOU on yours. The key here is each of you learning to RESPECT the others decision (and needs) and simply learning to be happy as you agree to disagree.

3. Mine, Yours, And Ours: Personal space and property is another major area of debate among many couples. Whether you live together before the “I Dos” or settle in your nest as husband and wife, we all face the same (space relations) issues.

Up until now, you’ve probably gotten accustomed to handling your own money, making your own plans and decisions and doing things the way YOU like, on your timetable. Well, if it hasn’t already that’s all about to change.

What most couples DON’T realize is that merging their lives also means merging their assets, the way they do things (or would like to do things) and often their “identity”…and that means ASKING about lots of things (you would otherwise prefer to handle on your own) and relinquishing control.

Maybe (hot) pink is YOUR favorite color, but you can’t expect it to be his, nor can you expect him to be excited about the new fuzzy pink lampshades you just bought. What’s important say experts to remember is that it’s not longer your home, your space, your money, your life, everything is “ours” and must meet approval from both of you. If you can only afford one car and he want the sports car, but you want the SUV, perhaps you can settle on a sleek and sexy SUV, or a larger, roomer sports sedan.

Remember you both have to live with the decision and with each other. Learn how to talk things out and how to find a solution that’s comfortable for both of you…AND, that won’t result in any hurt feelings or resentment.

4. Home Alone: Let’s face it most women feel their men don’t do enough around the house, and most men feel their women don’t do enough in the bedroom. Most couples have different sex drives and different ideas of what constitutes great sex. The compromise say experts is knowing when to appease and when to please your partner without him or her having to say please when it comes to intimate pleasure.

Experts also note, that as far as sex is concerned, the only way to keep it “good’ is to keep your relationship outside the bedroom good, and not to fear change, improvement, direction or even a few (harmless) suggestions now and again.

It’s also important note professionals (at least in this case) to avoid discussing (the issue) to death. Take note of what works, doesn’t work, hints your partner makes, what her or she finds a “turn on” in the world around them, and remember that actions speak louder than words. And, while it’s not likely you’ll (both) always want the same thing at the same time, chances are if you act on your impulse and your partner’s “direction”, you meet in the middle more often than not.

Long Island Relationship Articles > Can’t We All Just Get Along: Compromises Necessary To Strengthen Your Relationship

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