Towels and toasters, silverware and sofa pillows, there really is no limit when giving a wedding gift. We registered for most of the things we received, but not all of them. The purpose of a registry becomes more obvious when you start receiving gifts- we already agreed on it all. All of the disagreeing had been done walking the aisles of Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Then there was a small white box.
It was so beautifully wrapped that I didn’t want to open it. My inability to create beautiful things with my hands makes tasks like this difficult, but I was curious. What treasure could this flawlessly wrapped gift hold? It was the most ironic of the wedding gifts we had received.
The Harmony Candle technically smelled like lavender and jasmine, but according to my new husband, it smelled like old people.
Usually I would try to meet him halfway, but I’m not sure what smells half floral and half elderly. It was in a beautiful jar with a silver chain, and I wanted it displayed. Not only did I want it displayed, I wanted to light it. Who doesn’t want to create a more harmonious household?
Apparently Z did not, and he seemed adamant about our new apartment smelling youthful. Instead of meeting him halfway, I decided to put up a fight. Not because I didn’t understand what he was saying, but because I didn’t see how he could possibly make a case for a candle that smells youthful. It was my battle to win and fighting for it sounded better than compromising.
What is it about our humanness that insists on being right when we know compromise isn’t out of reach? I don’t have the answer to this question, but I’ll let myself be an example of it.
No, it wasn’t a huge argument that exploded into something out of hand. We disagreed and carried on. Zach would come home from work, and I’d have the Harmony Candle lit in the kitchen. He’d blow it out. I’d walk into the living room to light the candle, but it would be gone. Zach tolerated the scent in the bathroom, but nowhere else.
It was an ongoing battle until one day I gave in- the Harmony Candle could stay in the bathroom. After all, it’s better to have a harmonious washroom than no harmony at all.
It takes time and exposure to learn compromise. Some days I feel extra giving, some days I’d rather fight than rest. But when your marriage masters the art of compromise, I am of the understanding that things get easier. Here are some tips for newlyweds on how to compromise.
Lessons We Learned About Marriage and Compromise
Take a walk in their shoes, and it will be easier to come to an agreement. You will have to consider other perspectives for the rest of your life, so be sure to give your spouse the same consideration.
Always be willing to give a little more than you get. Not only will your spouse recognize your selflessness in this, they will be more likely to see your perspective once they see you’re still on their team.
You’ve already committed to this, so make it easier on yourself. This isn’t a coworker you’ll only have for a few years, this is your lifetime partner. So whenever you’re faced with the choice of conflict or compromise, learning to choose compromise will have a significant effect on your life.
Practice by creating your own opportunities. Some weeks are easier than others, but finding an excuse to compromise with your spouse will prepare you for the weeks that are full of nothing but conflict.
Learn how to predict disagreement so you can be ready. When conflict catches you off guard, your reaction is more emotional than logical. Once you begin seeing conflict patterns, you can start preparing your mind (and your emotions) to compromise.