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The feeling of being romantically compromised is common to many people, but the issue of what to do in this situation is unclear. I distinguish here between two major types of romantic compromises-one concerns the overall value of the partner, and one the nature of love-and then discuss types of behavior typical to each of them. I will refer to the true story of Lisa to illustrate my discussion. There are various types of romantic compromises, all of which have different repercussions on the relationship. Another major type of romantic compromise refers to compromising on the actual activities within a given romantic framework.
The type of romantic compromise that concerns the overall value of our partner involves a judgment as to whether we consider our partner to be on an equal footing with us, and hence whether we are under-compensated, over-compensated, or receiving what we deserve. When we feel that our partner is substantially below us, this compromise can be very painful.
Such a compromise is closely associated with the romantic dissonance between giving up the possible and yet yearning for it. As we perceive our partner to be inferior to us, and hence probably inferior to several other people in our circle of acquaintances, we are constantly encountering people whom we perceive to be above our partner and might often yearn to be with at least one of them.
The second type of compromise refers to the nature of love in the relationship. One major issue in this regard concerns mutual love between the lovers-whether they love each other in equal intensity. Another major issue concerns the intensity of the various components in love.
You are making a romantic compromise if you do not love your partner the way he or she loves you; similarly, you are making a romantic compromise if the intensity of passion in your love for your partner is not high. Let me clarify the above types of romantic compromises by referring to the true story of Lisa, a married for the second time woman at her mid-fifties. Lisa married at the age of 19 to a man at the same age as her. She did not love him and felt she was compromising when she was with him.
She considered him to be below her in every dimension. It was not the case that he was not perfect, but that she perceived him, as a person, to be considerably lower to her.
Today, she does not know why she married him. She thought that because "the invitations were out already" that was an excuse to go ahead with the marriage, but now she believes it was something more profound.
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It was not the common case of being afraid of remaining alone, as she was and is quite handsome and many young men wanted to date her. Their marriage lasted about 20 years and throughout that time, she felt the pain of having made a romantic compromise. She compensated herself with many extramarital affairs but these did not significantly ease the pain of her compromise. She always thought that she could still find a better partner. After 20 years, she had a passionate affair with a married person and both of them decided to leave their families and get married.
She thought she had found her one and only. After being with him for 17 years, she still thinks that she loves him to a certain extent, but it is not a passionate love-the passion has gone and again she believes that she is compromising in this respect. But the compromise here is not a compromise on the overall value person, but on certain aspects that she perceives to be lacking in him and especially the passion between them. This time, however, she is not constantly thinking about a more exciting alternative and has not considered leaving him or having an affair.
Having an affair would still be regarded for her as a compromise, since she wants to be in an ongoing relationship full of passion and love.
She believes that her husband feels the same, but after considering the possibility of both of them having an affair, they rejected it. Her first marriage involved the first type of romantic compromise, as it concerned the overall value of the partner and was associated with the romantic dissonance between giving up the possible and yet yearning for it. This is a most painful compromise and it involves the active search, or at least the profound desire, to find someone else, with whom, no doubt, she would feel much better.
Accordingly, Lisa had many extramarital affairs in which the passionate sex reduced the pain of compromise and was also a means of searching for another possible partner, and indeed she did find her second husband in this way.
- Liebesmetaphorik in Kleists Penthesilea (German Edition)!
- What to Do When Feeling Romantically Compromised? | Psychology Today!
Her second marriage involves a compromise over the nature of love and not on the overall value of the partner. Lisa does not consider her present spouse to be below her at all, but she does feel she is compromising as the passion between them has reduced considerably. Lisa has become used to this situation and is not searching at least not actively for another partner or for affairs that might reduce her pain as she recognizes that, after all, no one is perfect and great passion often lessens over time.
Life is not completely fulfilling now, but it is not miserable as it was in her first marriage.
Her second marriage started with a mutual passionate love and accordingly both of them were ready to break up their marriages which involved children on both sides in order to be together. The reduction of passion, which happened quite a few years later, is a common phenomenon, and Lisa has no guarantee that this phenomenon would not happen if she were to find another partner. In any case, it is easier and better for many other reasons not to enter into a romantic compromise in the first place than to extricate oneself from situation that has become a compromise after many years.
The above considerations can be encapsulated in the following statement that a lover might express: "Darling, although you are not Brad Pitt, you are not as bad as my first spouse, and thus I believe that I am condemned to be with you for the rest of my life. One positive aspect in this regard is that people say that one gets used to it and that the pain is considerably reduced after about 30 years. Can any readers enlighten me as to whether they have been in one of these situations and if so, whether Lisa's attitudes reflect their own?
I looked down on my first husband. We only made it three years, but I resented him because I felt being married to someone that was so much less than me was holding me back.
Compromised in Paradise
We got married when I was 19 and I married him knowing that I didn't love him. Later on, I was discussing my ex-husband with my current husband and he asked me why I ever even told my ex that I loved him. All I could say was, he said it first and it seemed like the nice thing to say. I have gotten much better at expressing my proper emotions now. I know a family member who has acknowledged that he's married to someone who is not an intellectual but that he is very happy.
He himself is a thorough intellectual who always professes that this quality is not important in his marriage. He's been married for 1 year. Many of us around him believe that he's subconsiously compromised on this, and that while this is only one component, this component is vital to his daily living. She ripped three pink notes off the desk.
Please call. Use diagrams, he won't be coming. Found a replacement, David Strong.
- An Artillerymans Diary.
- The Castle of Otranto (Pocket Penguin Classics)?
- What to Do When Feeling Romantically Compromised? | Psychology Today?
- Tax Reform: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition: A Reference Handbook (Contemporary World Issues);
- A Much Compromised Lady by Shannon Donnelly.
- Frankness By Dr. Frank: Self-Awareness Through Thought Provoking Expressions.
She plopped down in the receptionist chair and rolled back toward a potted palm. Her stomach reeled. As she lookedup at David, the fear that swamped her was drowned by a much warmer sensation. Why not? She was a professional after all. And she'd been in positions with him far more challenging than the ones they'd be demonstrating in class, even if it had only been in her dreams. She knew more on the subject than she ever thought possible. Every move of each of the classes was diagramed on note cards Daphne had left. She just had to get through it one by one.
Without thinking that this was the closest she had ever come to actually having sex. He met her stare and grabbed an apple from the bowl.
A Much Compromised Lady by Shannon Donnelly
She laughed, harder this time. So predictable. His eyes clouded over. He looked her up and down once more.
Related A Much Compromised Lady (The Compromise Series Book 3)
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