“Marriage is about compromise; it’s about doing something for the other person, even when you don’t want to.” Nicholas Sparks The Wedding
Of the few memories I have of my great-grandmother, one thing I clearly remember was the arduous relationship she had with my grandmother (her daughter-in-law).
My grandmother was very easy to get along with, however, her mother-in-law was the true Italian matriarch – ruling over her roost with an iron fist.
I always found that amusing, given the fact that she lived in a house dominated by males – her husband, my grandfather and his brother. Even so, she had lofty expectations for her children, and wasn’t pleased when each of her boys eventually put their wives ahead of her.
Recognizing how difficult it continually was for my grandmother to deal with her mother-in-law, I was always surprised at how attentive she was to her. As an outsider, one might assume the pair actually liked each other – but that wasn’t the case.
I once asked my grandmother how she could be so nice to someone who wasn’t that nice to her and she told me, “I do it out of respect for your grandfather. That’s what marriage is all about.”
I’ve been married for 15 wonderful years, and I can say with great certainty that marriage is about compromise.
No relationship is perfect
Anyone who believes that being married will provide all the freedoms of independence is just plain naïve. I live by the belief that everything worth anything in life requires work, and being married is no different.
Perhaps what makes the ride easier is the ability to make compromises for the other, even when it goes against what we ultimately want to do. Fawn Weaver once said that, “The greatest marriages are built on teamwork. A mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.”
That’s not easy to come by, but when you remove the antiquated stereotypes of “husband and wife” and focus on the commitment you make towards each other, suddenly a great marriage is not out of reach.
If I were ever asked how I’ve been able to stay happily married for over 15 years, I would say with great certainty that marriage is about compromise. It’s about respect and appreciation for each other, not selfishness and spite.
I end with this wonderful quote from Stephen Gaines: “Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning – I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it.”