Stop Compromising With Your Partner

I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times - the key to a great marriage is compromise.  People swear behind this golden advice of relationships.  Today, I’d like to take a stand against the age-old adage of compromising with your partner.  That’s right - a therapist who is trained in working with couples and families is telling you to end the compromising!  Instead, I urge you to start collaborating with your partner instead.   What’s the difference between compromising and collaborating?  Compromising is the act of giving something up to get something in return.  Collaboration, on the other hand, shifts your mindset: collaboration is working together to come up with the best solution to a problem.  The main difference is compromise makes us think how we as individuals can get the most without giving anything up, while collaboration makes us think how we as a couple can solve a problem as a team. Let’s picture this scenario: you and your spouse sit down to watch a movie.  They want to watch a romantic comedy to get in the Valentine’s spirit.  However, romantic comedies make you want to barf, and you’d way rather watch something with at least three explosions in it (hello, my action fans!).  Compromise says today you’ll give in and watch their romantic comedy and hopefully doze off halfway through, then tomorrow you’ll both watch your action movie and they’ll play on their phone the entire time.  Collaboration, on the other hand, says we’ll find a faster-paced movie with strong romantic undertones - something like Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, Spiderman: Far From Home, or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies If you need more tips on how to collaborate instead of compromise, try these three things: Make it Us versus It, versus Me versus Them Like I mentioned earlier, collaboration is a mindset shift from me versus my partner to my partner and I versus a problem.  When we stop thinking about how I as an individual can benefit most from this scenario and instead think about how our partnership can benefit most, your problem-solving strategy instantly changes. Understand It Still Takes Sacrifice Collaboration doesn’t mean all sacrifice is out the window and we always get 100% of what we want.  Collaboration does mean, however, that we stop keeping score of who has given up what and when is it their turn to lose.  Now, you and your partner can work jointly to preserve your partnership and decide, together, how to solve a problem.   Collaboration Takes Creativity Now that you’re no longer focused on who is giving up what and if it’s fair, you can get creative with your problem solving.  If you’re fighting over who has to do the dishes, collaborate - maybe one of you washes and the other dries, or maybe you throw away all that glassware and get paper plates.  If you can’t agree on how to set rules for your child, maybe you make a pact with your partner that all family members will participate in a “town hall” to set the rules in the house.   If you’re struggling with your partner and can’t seem to compromise or collaborate, we can help!  We have clinicians ready to serve both couples and families in their healing process.  Reach out today using our online form and a member of our staff will contact you shortly.  Let us know how we can collaborate with you!