My whole life, I have heard people say “relationships require compromise”, “every relationship requires a degree of settling”, and “you can’t have everything you want”.
And for years, I believed it.
I believed part of loving someone required suffering. Frustration. And dissatisfaction. You “can’t have it all”, right?
Today I think this is a bit of a trick question.
Relationships DO require settling only IF you believe they do.
I fully, 100% believe we will always get what we are willing to settle for. And at one point, I was willing to settle for a lot.
I settled for a partner who wasn’t interested in his emotional or spiritual growth.
I settled for a partner who refused to make his health a priority.
I settled for a partner who had no interest in collaborating with me or making decisions together.
I settled for a partner who saw me as a possession instead of a partner.
I settled for a partner who had very different financial values than I did.
I settled for a partner who had a wife role all picked out for me to follow.
I settled for a partner who was threatened by my gifts.
I settled for a partner who sought to dominate me.
I settled for a partner who spoke cruel words to me.
I settled for a partner who enjoyed scaring me.
I settled for a partner who refused to discuss his hurtful behavior.
But compromise is just what partners do, right??
Yes, and only IF we decide to compromise.
But we don’t have to.
Settling is no part of my partnership today. If I felt my partner had to settle in any way to be with me, I would release him. Because that is love. That is honor. And I don’t settle for anything outside of my own set of values and standards, even if that means releasing him. And we celebrate each other’s level of loyalty to our own standards and values.
If we have a concern, we discuss it openly and we collaborate on a solution that works for both of us. We come from the understanding that our individual values and standards come before the survival of the relationship. We understand the relationship exists to nourish US, not the other way around.
Back in the day, I would have done anything - sacrificed anything - to make my relationship work. Even if I had to be the only one working on the relationship, I would not let it fail. This inevitably meant I had to settle for something I really didn’t want, because I refused to accept the truth about my partner, even when it was staring me in the face.
Living this way is no longer an option because I choose to prioritize my values and standards above any relationship. I honor me, knowing this is most honoring for everyone.
When your relationship and your standards are at odds, which one will you choose?
Settling is not the only option.