I’ve spent the past two weeks at my parents’ home caring for my father after he had a fall. Though it’s not the home I grew up in, some of the rules and expectations my dad had when I was growing up followed him to this home – causing me to revisit some of my teenage trials and tribulations. My dad and I butted heads a lot when I was a mouthy teen. I always attributed our conflicts to us being a lot alike and after learning about the Enneagram, it is confirmed. Dad and I are very similar. I didn’t appreciate that fact when I was growing up but I love it now.
One of our biggest battles was over shoes – my shoes. Or probably more accurately, the fact that I kicked off my shoes the minute I came into the house and left them there. When we came in through the garage, we didn’t enter through a mudroom or laundry room so my shoes ended up in the kitchen. I usually didn’t wear the same pair of shoes the next time I left the house but I did kick them off the minute I walked back in. So a small pile would form. And the battle would begin.
Dad would tell me to take my shoes to my room. I would pretend I didn’t hear him or say, “ Just a sec” and completely disregard his request. This went on for days, months, years! Okay, maybe not years.
Finally, my exasperated father said something like; “I don’t understand why it’s so hard to take your shoes to your room.” Door opened. And I ran right in. I explained to him he only had to walk through the kitchen and living room to get to his closet. I had to walk through the kitchen and living room, go down the stairs, turn and walk all the way to the end of the hallway past both of my brothers’ rooms. I asked him if he would put his shoes away every time he came in the house if he had to walk all that way. Gotcha!
We compromised. I asked if I could put them in the coat closet by the front door if I promised not to leave more than 5 pairs there at any one time. Agreed!
Don’t you love a compromise?
Hang with me while I tell you another little story.
A few weeks ago, Hubby and I got a shipment of our meal-in-a-box and because I missed the window to change the pre-selected meals, we got fungus, I mean mushrooms, in the delivery. Hubby loves fungus mushrooms so he made that meal for himself and I made another. Sitting at the table, Hubby kept saying how good his was and how much he liked fungus mushrooms.
Not only do I not like to eat
fungus mushrooms, I don’t like to look at them, rinse them or even smell them. They rarely enter my home.
“Hubby, if we would have dated longer or been able to afford to eat in restaurants with items like sautéed mushrooms or crab stuffed mushrooms on the menu and you learned the depth of my mushroom revulsion, would you still have married me? All these years, you’ve gone without eating mushrooms in your own home.”
Hubby paused with his fungus mushroom laden fork halfway to his mouth and said, “It wasn’t a deal breaker. I’d choose you over mushrooms any day.” Or something like that. The first sentence is exact.
A few days ago my husband and I celebrated 34 years of marriage. One thing we have learned along the way is to compromise.
Compromise is important in every relationship. Whether the relationship is parent and child, husband and wife, neighbors, roommates or co-workers, compromise is important for a healthy relationship.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy Hebrews 12:14
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19
Making an effort to live at peace with people requires compromise. Compromise requires humility.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2
If that verse isn’t a great recipe for relationships, I don’t know what is.
There isn’t a need to draw battle lines on things like shoes left in the kitchen, mushrooms, who left the cabinet door open, or who picked the last movie or restaurant. It’s important to let the trivial things stay trivial.
Thirty-four years of marriage has taught me a lot about compromise. Hubby orders mushrooms when we dine out and I ignore the pile of things he leaves on the edge of the kitchen counter when he comes home– most of the time.
NOTE: Of course, in any and every relationship absolutely NO compromise should be made when it comes to physical, mental or verbal abuse. NO compromise.
What compromises do you make to “keep the peace?”