On compromising and learning.

So…tomorrow is my birthday (Yay!). I’m turning 32 (Boo! Just kidding. Well, kind of). Sunday is M’s birthday. (Yay!)

Our goal was to go out tomorrow night (relatively low key) for my birthday and then go to Boston on Saturday with my sis Jess and Scott and a couple of other friends for a bigger ‘bang’ (that’s what she said?!).

But then, upon a visit to M’s parents, they asked us if we had plans on Saturday (mind you, the aforementioned plan was still in very, very early stages at this point and hadn’t been firmed up, so we technically didn’t have firm plans yet, it was just discussed) as they wanted us to come over for dinner. After they asked us three times during our visit if we had plans on Saturday, we caved and said we’d come by on Saturday (thinking, in the back of both of our minds that we could probably actually do Friday with his parents and then Saturday with friends. And I promise, I am getting to the point of this post.)

Excited, I got my hopes up for a fun Saturday night out with friends (not that M’s parents aren’t fun…but not quite the same evening I had in mind!). But then, last night, M comes into the living room and says: “Good news! Our birthdays are coming! Yay! Bad news! My parents can’t do Friday, they’d still like to do Saturday. I’m sorry.”

Fail.

Fail.

Fail.

I get completely upset and bummed out and tell him so. It’s our birthdays, why do we have to compromise? It’s our birthdays, I want to go to Boston, a night at your parent’s is so ho-hum and normal compared to doing something a little more special. *kick and scream and fold my arms and stomp my feet* (I seriously started to feel like a 12 year old who didn’t get her way…except I’m almost 32!) M listened. He was quiet. He didn’t say much. It was one of those moments where I could see myself talking and wanted to slap a hand across my own mouth to shut me up.

I knew that I was being irrational and selfish and well, kind of rude.

I was most certainly not seeing the forest from the trees (this could also do with the fact that I also have to fly out the night OF M’s birthday to California for work…bad timing, much? After not going out there since APRIL, I actually have to go out there ON his birthday?!).

Yes, I wanted to spend Saturday night differently. Yes, I would rather see his parents on another night. But that doesn’t discount the fact that they value our relationship – and not to mention, ME – and want to celebrate our birthdays with us. For me to fly off the handle and not even consider the fact that yes, we can go out on Friday and yes, we still have (most) of the rest of the weekend to do whatever we want, I wanted Saturday night to be MY way or the highway.

Sound familiar? My inability to compromise? I am learning.

But in that moment, I was not compromising.

But then I did something that I normally would not have done. I stopped myself short. I cut myself off mentally. And I went to bed. Because I knew that if I kept going on and on, it was going to do nothing but make things worse, make M feel bad and in the middle, or worse, feel as though I don’t respect or value his parents enough to spend Saturday night together.

When he came to bed about a half hour later (becauseย  of course, I couldn’t sleep without clearing things up, as much as I was trying to), he laid down. He sighed. I think he thought I was asleep. I turned around, put my arm across his chest and my face in his neck and gave him a kiss. Wordless. We snuggled close. And fell asleep.

This morning, I woke up and I apologized. I gave him a kiss and a hug and I told him that we will make the best of it. We have all weekend to spend celebrating our birthdays and each other. That’s really all that matters, right?

On compromise and learning…one day at a time.

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26 thoughts on “On compromising and learning.

  1. Ok, girl, you’re better than me is all I can say. Honestly, I would have said no. We could do the family thing the following weekend or on a week night. Is that so wrong though? Though, you did admit that the plans weren’t 100% set in stone, and had told his parents you’d eat with them… So you kind of set yourselves up a bit. But, I will say that you are mature for not just cancelling on them. For recognizing that they want to celebrate your birthday as well.

    1. Haha, thanks, girl! Well, what I didn’t say – and probably should have – is that M is kind of sensitive to his parents, because they ARE very close and they don’t really have anyone, so when they ask to make plans, it means they a) really want to and b) don’t have much else going on and are probably bored! And yes, they do value us and spending time together, and I am not USED to that since my ex-in laws were jerks to me! And we did sort of set ourselves up for plans on Saturday even if we kinda-sorta already started planning other things. My problem was getting my hopes up for the Boston plans when the other plans were still sort of set. Ya know?

  2. One step at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Compromise is hard, especially when you’re compromising something you wanted more than the option presented to you.

    I still struggle with it…Tim is better than me with compromise…but I’m working on it…

  3. Compromise is a precarious thing, isn’t it?

    First of all, I see nothing wrong with stating your case and admitting you’d prefer something else. (Now to get M to speak up like that too!) But yes, then you listen to the other side’s case too. Then you compromise.

    Why didn’t M speak up? What did HE want to do?

    I’m proud of you for realizing when you’d gone too far but I’m also proud of you for being honest. Neither of you should stifle your feelings about stuff like this.

    Happy birthday weekend to you both. I just know it’ll be wonderful!

    1. Well, the thing is, I don’t think M minded either way – dinner with his parents OR dinner out in Boston, and in his defense, we did tell his parents we did NOT have plans on Saturday when they asked us over. We kinda dug our own hole on that one, because obviously, we both would have said we have plans otherwise. For me, I guess my point of writing about this was just that – I did NOT stifle my feelings but I also realized I was about to step over the line and I didn’t want to do that. And we *can* go out on Friday, it’s not really that big a deal, in the grand scheme!

  4. I think this shows great growth on your part, seriously. I KNOW how hard it was for you stop in your tracks, before you went down the path you normally would go down (with way more foot stamping and arms crossing!). I have to say, I’d have a hard time with it at first too, until I took a minute to step back and envision the bigger picture (M’s parents value you, your relationship, they mean a lot to M, etc.) and then realized that maybe it wasn’t as big of a deal. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t want to be selfish and have you guys out with us on Saturday instead, but still, I think you made the right move here. I can’t say I would have been as mature about it as you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Well, you have to remember, you guys have been married for 7 years, you have a little more leeway, in my mind, to turn down plans or reschedule than I do…at least I think so. And we DID tell them that we did NOT have plans, since we technically, hadn’t really firmed anything up yet, I just felt bad saying no after they asked us three times, ya know? So I guess it’s partially my/our fault for even saying yes when we were toying with other ideas. I just thought it would be easier to move them, even if that sounds selfish. Will take one for the team and maybe be done early enough to meet you for a drink ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. First off- I didn’t know it was your bday tomorrow, so happy early birthday!

    Then, while I was reading your post, I was thinking “what the heck is the big deal? Cancel on his parents!” Because really? Wouldn’t they understand that it’s your freakin birthday (and his too) and sometimes there are cooler things to do than eating dinner with your in-laws on your birthday! And then I started thinking that man, they must not have a good relationship with M and they must be way out of touch that they wouldn’t even consider that you guys might want to go out with your friends.

    Obviously, I’m a very judgmental person. SO– I was really glad that I read your response to the first comment about their relationship with M because now it kind of puts it into perspective. And yeah, you guys kind of dug yourselves into a hole in this case. BUT the bright side is you can go out on Friday with your friends.

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes! Ad you aren’t judgmental for saying that, I know what you mean. I guess I didnt really explain well in my post! But glad you figured it out ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. I have a feeling that it will be a week-long celebration! (I didn’t realize that M’s birthday is this weekend.) You’re entitled to want to be with your friends, but it sounds like you feel like compromising is the right thing to do. And, so it is :).

    1. Thanks friend. It’s not even necessarily how he likes to spend it, (he was in Aruba solo last year for it!) it was more that we told them we didn’t have and (tho kinda did), so he doesn’t want to break them. That I get. Doesn’t mean I have to love the plan, but it doesn’t mean I have tp hate it either right?

  6. I understand your disappointment. I know how frustrating it can be when we mentally commit to plans that get changed. It’s like it was taken away. But bravo to you for stopping yourself. I usually don’t have that much self control. I can keep digging my own grave, and I KNOW IT WHEN IT’S HAPPENING! And that still doesn’t stop me! LOL.That’s a shame that you can’t spend his actual birthday with him, but I suspect you two will find a way to work out something really special another day.

    1. I don’t think I would be out of line in trying to change the plans, no, I guess my point was that I didn’t want to fly off the handle when I could have been more rational about it. And honestly, I don’t think I really got my point across about the fact that we DID tell them we did NOT have plans, so it wasn’t like it was an unreasonable request to ask, necessarily, either. In any event, I am over it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. First of all – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

    I know this feeling all too well. My hubby’s family live in the area, and when we first started dating I had a VERY hard time adjusting. I was so use to operating in a world that was about me – my friends, my family, my time! I didn’t like compromising ANY of this.

    But it was very hard to say no to my in-laws when I was new to the family and trying to establish a relationship with them. Looking back on it, I’m glad that I compromised because it’s helped pave the way for a great relationship. And it means a lot to my hubby that we all love each other and get along. Finally, after 5 years I’m more comfortable pushing back when I really can’t do dinner or make it for a visit during the middle of the week. But it’s still hard sometimes.

    It’s such a hard balance – good for you for stepping back and being VERY mature about everything!

    1. YES! You get it, totally. It is a hard balance at first, since a) I am not used to it in terms of being wanted and cared about by his family and b) sometimes you just simply want it YOUR WAY. But compromise is everything sometimes. Thank you!

  8. Well, I think I realized what you were doing when you were doing it and that’s a huge step. Second you stopped yourself from further tantrums — that isn’t easy. But there’s always time for fun … family is important and you have to compromise for them; sometimes on your birthday ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sometimes I see myself saying and doing something stupid or childish and I can’t stop it though in my mind I’m like SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP — it’s hard. You’re probably feeling vulnerable about leaving on his birthday but you shouldn’t. You can make up for it later *wink wink*

    1. YES, you get it too…the shut up shut up shut up thing, for sure. I didn’t want to do that. I have done it too many times and regretted it! And I think you made a good point on the vulnerability about being away on his birthday, definitely played into it a bit I think. We’ll make the best of it…wink wink ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Happy Birthday! That’s funny that you and M have birthdays so close together. Fellow Libras!

    I have to admit I don’t quite understand the issue here. This is not a case of you not being willing to compromise, I see it more of an issue of knowing what you want and being assertive. Don’t beat yourself up for that. If you can’t do what you want on your birthday, then when? Maybe I don’t understand M’s (or your) relationship with his parents, but it seems perfectly natural to say, “Sorry, we really wanted to go to Boston this weekend, can we celebrate with you another time?” Birthdays shouldn’t be about family obligations or pleasing other people– that’s what every other holiday is for. Birthdays should be about YOU.

    Anyway, all I mean to say is, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re not being rude, irrational, or selfish. It’s normal to do what you want on your birthday. Enjoy your day!

    1. Thanks friend! Well, the mistake was simply in that we told them we didn’t have plans, when we actually just hadn’t firmed anything up, so we both then felt obligated to say yes. So, really, the issue is our own stupidity for not saying that instead! It’s all good, we have lots of fun planned, I am not going to fret about it anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰

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