Relationships are not easy. These are two completely different individuals with two different sets of values and two different upbringings living together under ONE roof. It can be difficult to get along at first. Compare it to living with siblings. You’ve lived together your entire life, and yet getting along still comes with challenges.
So how can you make it work?
You have to master the art of what we call, the three C’s: compromise, communication and composure.
Compromise. Inevitably, you will want different things sometimes, from what religion to raise your children to what you should eat for dinner. You can’t have everything your way, so pick and choose what is extremely important to you and try to compromise. If your partner wants Greek take out and you want Chinese, compromise. Maybe you can do Greek this week and Chinese the next. If you really don’t want to visit your in-laws, but your partner wants you to, then compromise. Maybe you can go for an hour. Bottom line - you’re going to want your partner to do things that they may not necessarily want to do, but they will do it anyway because they care about you and want to make you happy. There’s no harm in making compromises for them too.
Communication. There are a few aspects of communication: listening attentively, understanding each other, learning each other’s signs of communication and always speaking respectfully (or at least most of the time).
Listening attentively requires trying to really grasp what your partner is saying, rather than just waiting for an opening to say your opinion.
Understanding involves putting yourself in their shoes to feel how they feel.
Learning each other’s signs of communication means finding ways to communicate your thoughts into words your partner understands. Sometimes our thoughts make sense to us, but remember we’re talking to someone else who maybe isn’t thinking the same way you are.
Speaking respectfully can be hard when emotions are running wild, but you don’t want to be disrespectful to the person you love or say anything you may regret. We never really forget the hurtful words.
Composure. When you keep your composure during disagreements, problems can be resolved amicably without that awkward post-fight tension. Getting angry and letting your emotions get the best of you masks your feelings and distorts the message you are trying to convey. Try to stay calm and when you do get upset, remind yourself to stay calm. It will help your partner stay calm and you’ll be able to understand each other better.
The three C’s won’t necessarily come easy to all of us. It takes patience and effort, but your relationship is worth it. Give it your all.