One of the lessons you have to learn very quickly in any relationship is that, to make it work, you need to compromise. People are not the same and will always want different things.
If you think about it, it could be very boring if a couple wanted exactly the same thing all the time. There would be no space for discoveries, for new experiences, nothing to share that would bring that extra spark to the relationship.
Compromises come in all shapes and sizes, so I don’t mean you have to agree to every crazy idea or do something that’s completely out of your comfort zone. You can’t compromise on your integrity, for example.
The act of doing something to please the other party should come from a true desire to make them happy, to see their joy that you want to share that with them, even if it’s not something you would normally do. It is a beautiful thing from the heart and should never be done with the specific purpose of getting something else in return.
That’s where my struggle lies at the minute. Little ‘Alison’ here is trying to work things out with barely husband. There are a lot of compromises to be made, because, as I explained before, we are very different people. We are not going to change.
We have talked and I have told him about the things I wish I’d done but did not pursue in an attempt to adapt to his ideal. I refuse to adapt to this ideal any longer, so I have stated clearly I will be pursuing those.
If you consider what I want – tattoo, music, not be forced to go out every weekend because he feels the urge to be out of the house to release stress from work, be able to sleep until late on Sundays – they are minimal things and should be very easy to accept.
However, when he ‘agreed’ to my tattoo, it didn’t come with a “If that’s so important to you, fine! Be happy!” Instead I was bombarded with questions:
“Where are you going to place it? How big is it going to be?” and then the set of rules: “I don’t want it on your arms. It can’t be too big. That design is not feminine enough.”
Worst of all was the very direct question: “What are you going to do to me from my list of requests?”
I feel like Clarice Starling negotiating with Hannibal Lecter in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’: I say what I want and he turns to me “Quid Pro Quo”. In Latin it means ‘something for something’ and that’s my life now. And it’s really pissing me off.
I told him it doesn’t work like that and I’ll do the tattoo I want, where I want, the size I want it to be. And he’s not getting anything just because of that.
Am I inflexible? Maybe. But I’m tired and if I don’t impose myself a little right now we’re simply going to go back to where we were when I was completely unhappy.
I just hope I can find the silence of my own lambs.
Soundtrack: Johnny Ringo – Crown the Empire