I’ve been thinking a lot about my ex-husband and compromise lately. After almost ten years of being together and lots of compromises, we did not work out.
I’m fully aware compromise is part of any relationship, but I think there are healthy ways and toxic ways. My compromises with my ex were usually toxic, they did not benefit both of us and usually left me feeling discounted. I always had to tone myself down, stop myself from experiencing things because I didn’t want to deal with coming up with justifications on why it was important for me. I gave up parts of myself to avoid arguments and keep him happy. Something as small as leaving the store we just walked into because it was too crowded or something as big as withdrawing from school because he didn’t want to wait a month to leave Fort Worth; he couldn’t be bothered or inconvenienced. Were all those compromises worth it? Could I have gotten to this point in life sooner had I not compromised, would I be further in my career, would I be happier?
After my marriage, I’m probably at the complete opposite spectrum in my attitude towards compromise. Alex will tell you I am very outspoken, give my opinion, and tell him he could take it or he knows were the door is. As I am typing this, I realize how bitchy that sounds, but I refuse to end up in the same circumstance, feeling taken advantage of and disregarded.
After almost five years of being with Alex, compromise is not something I’ve really had to do. I’ve never felt like I was giving up or hindering part of myself to be with him. I’ve also never made him do anything he didn’t want to do or stopped him from doing anything he did want to do. I can’t say the same about my ex-husband; I did try to stop him from some things because I didn’t trust him. I trust Alex wholeheartedly, he has never given me reason not to. Even with all the love and trust I have for him, I’m finding it incredibly difficult to be vulnerable, let my guard down, compromise, and trust him.
What does a healthy compromise even look like?
For as long as we have been together, Alex has lived with me; he moved into my apartment and then moved in with me to my house. He’s always happily paid his part, helped me with anything he can, and has been a huge reason why I’ve been able to do a lot of the things I’ve done in recent years. That being said, I’ve been stressing out about his plans for our future. Not because they aren’t great plans and because they don’t make perfect sense, but because some crazy part of me feels trapped. We have the opportunity to move into a house that is twice as big as my house, worth more than twice the amount, is in a nicer neighborhood, is closer to work, and will allow me to rent out my home and possibly make some income. The caveat is that it will be Alex’s house, since we are not married, I will have no real stake in the home. If he is reading this, he is saying that we are not married because I don’t want to get married, and he’s right, I don’t. The truth is, I’m not ready to move in with him.
I know that sounds silly because we already live together, but we live in my house. I make the final call on things and can tell him he knows where the door is when we are in a heated debate. He has never taken me up on that, he never leaves, it’s what I love about him, he is 100% in this. I thought I was 100% in too, but the thought of living with him has me feeling stressed. What is something happens? I can’t kick him out of his own house, I won’t be able to go to my house if it’s being rented, and I have no family here. My sister got it immediately when I told her, she said I’m feeling trapped as a response to trauma from my ex-husband. I felt trapped for a long time and maybe stayed longer than I should have because I felt like I had nowhere else to go. I’m terrified of being in that place again and even though Alex has given me absolutely no reason to feel that way, my mind is immediately going to worst case scenario. Moving in with him feels like such a leap of faith and I know I probably sound super dramatic, but it is such a big deal to me and I don’t think he understands that because on paper it’s a win, win, win and we already live together.
This post doesn’t have a solution yet, just putting this out into the world in hopes of clarity. Is it compromise if Alex isn’t giving anything up in this plan? I know that is the wrong way to look at it, but I’ve constantly stated I’m kind of a selfish person, he knows this, and still sticks around. Also, I lied, I have had to compromise with Alex…the name of that compromise is Scout! She should really count as a million compromises because all I got from that is a hard time! lol