My husband, Sheldon Good, has his ideas about how to pick a wife and live happily ever after. Success comes when there is compatibility and compromise in marriage.

“A man should marry someone like his sister,” he says.

“Why?” I ask him.

“Because backgrounds will be similar,” he replies. “The similarity in one another’s lifestyle prevents a couple from having to compromise because they are in sync on important issues.”

I agree with him. It’s a perfectly logical theory except, what if you don’t have a sister, in his case, or a brother in mine? Therefore, I have my idea to add to his…

Parents and grandparents should stress to their children and grands when they begin to date that the most important decision they will make in their life is who they choose to marry.

So, we decided that as grandparents we will stress both ideas to our grands. He agrees with me; that’s my favorite type of compromise.

The importance of compromise in marriage

My husband and I are very compatible. We are the cream and sugar in each other’s coffee and therefore, we do not have to compromise in many areas of our marriage. 

We share the same religion and political feelings. We like the same movies, people, restaurants, foods, travel, home décor, arts and charities. I am my husband’s “sister” in that sense and he is a man like my father. We blend.

However, we are different in our personalities. I bend with the wind, flow with the sea and say, “why not?” He is pragmatic and asks, “why?” This is actually good because neither trait is without its flaws, so we have to compromise.

Examples of compromise in our marriage

We were at a rib joint one Sunday night with family. The restaurant had dispersed sinks around the perimeter so customers could wash their hands. My husband and I left our table to rinse our hands and he took a napkin, asking me why I did not. My reply, “I know there will be one waiting for me.” He was pragmatic knowing the odds were 50/50. There were hand towels left and if there weren’t, I know he would have compromised and shared his with me. Isn’t that what a husband does?

When it comes to spending money, we have the same taste level, but we do haggle. He has said a thousand times, “I am going to take the checkbook away from you,” but he has never asked for it. I keep my mouth shut knowing silence is golden and then he finally says, “You know you can have anything you want.” I breathe a sigh of relief. A compromise was reached. He compromised with himself!

Our biggest areas of compromise involve the children. We are a blended family, but that is not the problem. My husband is not as invested in our children as I am because he does not like any kind of tumult; it matters not if the children are his or mine. He does not know how to relax with kids and to top it off, he loves to give them advice — and they don’t like that. I ask him, “Why do you have to give so much advice?” I melt with his response which is, “Because I care.”

He does love them and wants to help them, but he would prefer the quiet of just the two of us and Orchid. This frustrates me and makes me sad because I would love to have our home filled with our children all the time. So I asked him on this topic, “How do we compromise?” He looked at me smiling and said, “You force me to give in.” I smiled back. That’s my kind of compromise in marriage.

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