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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Thursday, December 01, 2005


Y.Y. Commented:

A healthy relationship is all about compromise- here is my question:
How does a person know when its his time to bend to the other partner?
You can't say that I have to bend all the time because then its not a compromising relationship.
[spelling and punctuation edited]

That's a good question. How much does a person need to compromise in a relationship?
I looked up compromise on dictionary.com which defines compromise as:

A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.

So basically if you are the only one making adjustments then it's not a compromise at all!
Clearly gender roles and the ideal division of power in any relationship is a subjective issue but for me equality is the way to go. If one partner is always getting his/her way while the other is always giving in clearly the balance of power is well.... unbalanced!

Sometime it feels like we are always making concessions, but in a healthy relationship both partys are always assessing how their words and actions will affect their partner- it's called sensitivity. There needs to be a balance between considering what your partner wants and needs and letting him/her know what YOU need. If there is open communication rather than a lot of guessing and speculation the chances are a lot better both of you will get a least some of what you want.


At 12:40 PM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

thank you so much!
the other part of my question was
when do i need to concede to my partner in other words how does one know when to give in, because the other partner will hurt more if a certain thing is done or not done, clearly both partners believe that if its not done their way it will hurt them more so the other party should be the one giving in?
hope i came across clear
and thank you again!

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

one thing to add shifra is
we are not open to the option of going to a third party with our differences

At 4:23 PM, Blogger chuck said...

I always heard that secret to a good marriage should be a 60%-40% compromise

i know iknow, you want to know who gets/does the 60%, and who inherits the 40%
weeellll.... both! thats the secret

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

YY there is no mathematical formula to determine who gets their way... One person may feel strongly about EVERYTHING does that mean she should get whatever she wants? Of course not.

Not everything can be split down the middle either- if you want to live in Manhattan and she wants to live in California - buying a house in Kansas isn't going to satisfy either of you.

The most important thing is to respect each other, and really listen with an open mind when the other person is stating their case-who knows you may actually come to agree with them!

It's also interesting that you mention that you are not interesting in going to a third party because if the two of you cannot prioritize or compromise on your own that is really your next best option. Sometimes someone with no stake in the situation can see things more objectively.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

thank you shifra for answering my questions

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I find we think we are on opposite sides of an issue, but after discussing it find we are not so far apart after all.

At 11:58 AM, Blogger asher said...


You are exactly right. There is a professor who can predict if a couple is going to make it by observing them doing different tasks in his "laboratory" (I don't remember his name but he does wear a Yamulka and every time he's interviewed on tv they go to great pains to try and hide the fact that he's wearing one) It basically comes down to what you can put up with in the other person. If I can put up with your crap and you can put up with my crap (depending on what the crap is) the relationship should survive. In an age of instant gratification it's no wonder so many people are getting divorced.

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asher - Are you referring to Professor John Gottman? His book - 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work -- is really good.


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