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feeling like a doormat or compromising your basic values.” If you find yourself changing your fundamental beliefs, morals or values, that’s a definite red flag. “Then you must stand your ground and find a way to agree to disagree,” she says. “If you do this, it’s important to let go of any resentment. I think it can be done respectfully, without alienating your partner.”

When a couple finds themselves unable to reach a compromise or unable to ‘agreeably’ agree to disagree, they should look deeper, to the feelings, meanings and needs the conflict generates.

– Tina Montalvo, licensed marriage and family therapist

THE ART OF COMPROMISE Giving In Without Giving Up Too Much In A DisagreementBY LINDA HAASE


he couple tried for 22 years to choose a backsplash for their kitchen. “We couldn’t agree,” they lamented in unison. So they gave up. The walls remained bare. The pair, featured on a recent episode of HGTV’s “Property Brothers,” learned a lot about compromise during the renovation of their house. “After 20 years, I got them to agree on things. I should be called

the construction counselor,” quipped Jonathan Scott, a licensed contractor and one of the show’s stars. Compromise isn’t always easy. But it’s necessary in relationships, which are full of questions, decisions and disagreements, from which house to buy to how often the in-laws should visit to what’s for dinner. But, when arguing with your significant other, when should you give in – and perhaps more importantly – when should you stand your ground?

“Compromise is great in small doses and a necessary part of any healthy relationship,” says Boca Raton licensed mental health counselor Jessica Marchena. “It allows both partners to feel appreciated and respected. The key is to be flexible, without ending up

Marchena adds that compromise should always be a voluntary act, done after a certain amount of introspection: “You should never be forced to compromise against your core values, conscience or dignity. If you feel like you need to suppress your desires and needs for NOVEMBER 2015


Boca Raton Observer Nov2015  

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