If you’re here it means you’re conscious of your own spiritual journey. It means you are taking steps to take your responsibility for your own happiness. This doesn’t always mean that your partner can follow you in your journey. So how do you make sure that you keep your own journey moving forward while respecting your partner’s standpoint? How can you meet in the middle instead of constantly have to compromise in relationships?
A relationship is a continuously moving forward journey. We learn, grow and evolve together. In that journey there has to be space for individual development. We’re all on our individual adventures to find inner peace and happiness. Some more obvious than others. Taking your partner onto your journey and reflecting your findings on them might not result in more understanding.
Everybody experiences their growth differently. If there’s one thing I learned over the year of being in an interracial marriage is that we need to come together on new grounds. Trying to convince the other person to come to your side or trying to come all the way to their side isn’t necessarily the solution.
My husband is born and raised in Thailand and I’ve been born and raised in the Netherlands. He grew up in with an eastern mindset; community over individual, where I grew up with a western mindset; individual over community. Our psyches work in a very different way. We process things differently, we understand things differently and we both don’t speak our native language to each other.
Even if you were raised in the same street you’ll have differences because both of your parents have different values, you have different interests and your character is different. How do we make a marriage or partnership work when we’re so different? Do you meet in the middle or do you compromise in relationships?
Compromise in Relationships
There’s so much power in the words that we use to describe an action or emotion. The word compromise makes me rebellious. I feel confined in my actions and thoughts when that word comes up. Why? It’s about restriction opposed to creating new space. To compromise almost indicates that you’re suppose to leave a part of you behind in order to come together. Relationships should never limit you in your journey, it should rather lift you up.
When I was in college one of my best friends mentioned that for her one of the most important things in a relationship is that should always be able to learn from each other. I found those words so powerful that I went to my (then) boyfriend and ended our relationship after 6 years. I realized that I’ve been limiting myself and my growth by staying in that relationship. I was compromising my personal journey by playing small. Not because he forced me, quite the opposite but I missed the drive to keep moving forward. Sometimes we need a bit of fire to keep the ball rolling.
Relationships need conscious attention to keep both sides nurtured and nourished. If you or your partner feel like they need to leave too much behind, it will only create more frustration and tension. So how can you create more harmony if you completely disagree?
Meeting in the middle
To compromise in a relationship feels like you need sacrifice a part of yourself. The term that I like to use is to meet in the middle. It indicates that you’re both moving forward to find a place in the middle where both of you needs are met. Sometimes that means you need to step forward a bit more and other times your partner needs to step forward a bit more.
When you’re so deep in your own spiritual journey it can feel like a long shot to try to make your partner understand. But what if you focus on your part and inspire them by simple sticking to your personal practice?
Think of it like this, when you throw a stone in a still puddle of water it creates a ripple effect. It’s the same with your spiritual journey. You don’t have to convince your partner that this is the right thing to do because what works for you doesn’t have to work for the other person. Do your own inner work and you’ll see that the situation will change. Focus on yourself and allow your partner to to place critical notes. You can see it as a test, how strong are you rooted in your self-development? Remember you don’t have to convince them why it works for you because deep down you know and feel that this is right for you!
The journey that you’re on is yours. You can inform and inspire others but their journey is theirs. You can come forward and meet them closer to where they’re at as long as they also put in the effort to meet you in the middle. It suggests that there’s a move forward from both sides.
In Thai language the word for marriage literally means arrange work (for you) and I think that so fitting. A relationship needs attention to grow. Take your own responsibility in creating a loving environment. A place where both sides are heard and understood. This doesn’t mean that you always have to agree. As long as you respect your differences you will build on a relationship that blossoms from the combination of your unique and one-of-a-kind characters!
You might also be interested in reading this post about Postpartum Depression and our Partners.
Now up to you. How do you deal with differences in your relationship? Do you meet in the middle of compromise in relationships? What are your tips?