Compromise in Relationships

by Jason Stotts

This is a really good and insightful article about the dangers of confusing the particular way you do something with the absolutely right way to do something. It’s also a good example of why compromise is important in relationships.

My “Aha Moment” happened because of a package of hamburger meat. I asked my husband to stop by the store to pick up a few things for dinner, and when he got home, he plopped the bag on the counter. I started pulling things out of the bag, and realized he’d gotten the 70/30 hamburger meat – which means it’s 70% lean and 30% fat.

I asked, “What’s this?”

“Hamburger meat,” he replied, slightly confused.

“You didn’t get the right kind,” I said.

“I didn’t?” He replied with his brow furrowed. ” Was there some other brand you wanted or something?”

“No. You’re missing the point, ” I said. “You got the 70/30. I always get at least the 80/20.”

He laughed. “Oh. That’s all? I thought I’d really messed up or something.”

That’s how it started. I launched into him. I berated him for not being smarter. Why would he not get the more healthy option? Did he even read the labels? Why can’t I trust him? Do I need to spell out every little thing for him in minute detail so he gets it right? Also, and the thing I was probably most offended by, why wasn’t he more observant? How could he not have noticed over the years what I always get? Does he not pay attention to anything I do? (Link)

Read the whole article, it’s definitely worth it.

There’s two things that I should point out:

1. Compromise in practical issues is mandatory, if you want a relationship to work. There is no person in the world who does everything so well that any other person should conform to everything they do because it’s objectively the best way to do it. On the other hand, compromise of ethical principles is never acceptable. It is never okay to sometimes beat your child, or sometimes steal, or compromise about just this murder.

2. The article is titled “Woman Realizes That She’s Been Accidentally Abusing Her Husband This Whole Time… Wow” and I think that’s a bit of an overstatement. Psychological abuse is real and really dangerous, but given only the information in the article, I don’t think that it rises to that level. Now, if the woman was fundamentally demeaning her husband and always disparaging him, then maybe it would. Either way, we should be careful that our interactions with our partners are encouraging them to live better and not causing them to live worse.

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