The Paradox of Compromise: Why Relationships Fail
The Paradox of Compromise: Why Relationships Fail

When relationship problems occur, we are used to finding a compromise. But is this method always effective? The teacher and aspiring writer Yakomaskin Andrey will tell about why, because of compromises, strong relationships sometimes break down.

The Paradox of Compromise: Why Relationships Fail
The Paradox of Compromise: Why Relationships Fail

I've always liked one parable about relationships.

- We quarrel all the time … We can't be together, right?

- Do you like cherries?

- Yes.

- Do you spit out the bones when you eat it?

- Well, yes.

- So it is in life. Learn to spit bones and love cherries at the same time.

Many people often perceive relationships in isolation from the obligations that come with them. They want to receive attention, affection and tenderness, but when a crisis occurs, they prefer to step aside instead of solving the problem.

In 2010, Dr. James McNulty, one of the most renowned experts in family psychology, completed a study on the impact of problems on relationships.

For ten years, McNulty studied 82 couples in terms of their satisfaction with their marriage. By the end of the study, the couples split into two groups.

In the couples of the first group, not only were there almost no domestic disagreements, but also there was a significant strengthening of the spiritual and emotional connection between people. And for couples of the second group, the problems grew into a systematic crisis, which constantly made itself felt, and in some cases even led to divorce.

The reason for this difference in results lies in the answer to the question: "How did you solve the emerging problems?"

Couples from the second group answered: "If we fought, we immediately tried to find a compromise that would suit both." And the couples from the first group gave the following answer: “When a problem arose, we tried to find the cause and fix it together so that we would not come back to it”.

In other words, in pairs from the first group, people tried to understand what did not suit their partner, and by joint efforts to overcome it. They worked together to solve the problem, sacrificing their interests for each other.

In the second group, couples simply stated the fact of a quarrel, and then found a solution to hush it up. How nice to say: "We have come to a compromise!" On the one hand, this means that a solution has been found that is acceptable to both. On the other hand, no one is going to change their beliefs and interests. Unfortunately, long-term relationships cannot be built on such terms.


We are all ready to look for solutions to problems that arise in relationships, but we are not always ready to make sacrifices in order to make this willingness a reality.

In 2016, McNulty conducted a study in which 135 young couples filled out questionnaires, where they indicated their standards in marriage and shared them with their significant other. As a result, it turned out that in couples where both partners were ready to constantly raise the bar in the relationship, working on them, mutual respect and love only grew and grew stronger.

This simple result proves once again that in order for a relationship not to collapse, you need to do more than just acknowledge the problem and come to terms with it. It is much more important to constantly raise standards and jointly decide what to do next. To achieve this, do not be afraid to talk about what you would like to change, and always be ready to listen to your significant other.

Azerbaijani writer Safarli Elchin said:

I know only one reason for the collapsed relationship, it is not at all connected with the stamp in the passport. Understatement. It all starts with her.

Collaborate and be sincere.

I wish you success!