What Compromises Should Married Couples Make?

We all love to have it our own way, but that’s not what marriage is about.

When two individuals unite and form a bond in marriage, both partners come to the relationship with their own personal passions, ideals and opinions. In most relationships, give and take is needed from both sides in order to co-create a life together. While it’s important to cooperate with one another, the key is finding a way to agree without making sacrifices. The only healthy way to do that is through compromise.

The bulk of marital issues and disagreements stem from a few core issues and a lack of compromise. To avoid conflict and live happily together, here are some key compromises every married couple should make.

Home Decor

You want red walls in the living room, but your spouse wants chocolate brown. You want a comfy wool couch, but your spouse wants leather. The list goes on and on. If you and your spouse’s style sensibilities are like day and night then it’s important you compromise to create a home that you both have an input on. Rather than battling over whose preferences will be picked, shop together and choose furniture and decor that you both like. If you can’t agree on anything, consider getting a third, unbiased opinion.

Tolerance for Clutter

If your organizational habits are so strong  that even your closet is colour coordinated, you could have a hard time finding a spouse that lives up to those standards. On the other hand, if you’re spouse is the polar opposite of you and can’t even get his dirty socks into the laundry hamper, then it’s time to talk. Making a plan to keep your home clean is important, because without communication, things could quickly become chaotic. Divide up tasks and set a schedule for chores such as laundry, dishes, and garbage. This may sound childish, but in the long run you’ll be glad you did.


If you’re the type that is used to welcoming your extended family and friends to every social function, you need to remember that your spouse may not also welcome the crowd. If hosting parties or volunteering your home for get-togethers is a habit of yours, then you need to talk to your spouse and possibly make your habit  a thing of the past. When you were living on your own you were in charge, but now that you’re sharing a home with your spouse, you need to be considerate of their feelings and opinions. If having visitors over is important to you, then you shouldn’t have to completely sacrifice it. Instead sit down with your spouse and make a schedule of days and times that visitors are welcome. For example, you may agree on no visitors after 10p.m. on weekdays or only Saturdays for overnight guests.

How Time is Spent

Just because you’re married it doesn’t mean that you and your spouse have to spend every waking moment together, after all, your friends and interests still exist. Sure you may enjoy each other’s company, but at the same time, neither of you should be sacrificing other aspects of your social life for one another. It’s important for married couples to compromise and come up with the right balance of time spent together and apart. For example, you could agree that each week you both get a night out with your friends, but that Saturdays are reserved for the two of you. Not spending enough time with your spouse can cause detrimental damage to the marriage, but at the same time, you both need your space to breathe.

Attending Events

As a married couple it’s important that you go to each other’s events and happenings. Being a good spouse is about compromising and being there to support your partner, even if it means doing something you don’t particularly want to do. A great way to compromise in these type of situations is by making deals with one another. For example, you will go to your spouse’s work party if they will take you to the art exhibit over the weekend. These type of deal makers are a win win negotiation for both spouses.

Sleep Styles

If your spouse prefers to sleep with dimmed lights and a ceiling fan, but you’re always cold and need darkness, then you’re going to have to come up with a compromise. Sleep is an important part of your everyday life and well being, and if one of you isn’t getting the rest you need, things will only get ugly. Work with your spouse to create an atmosphere in the bedroom that makes you both feel comfortable. Maybe rearrange the room, or switch sides of the bed. No matter how you go about compromising, don’t settle for different sleep schedules. Not going to bed at the same time can wreak havoc on your relationship and intimacy.

Sex Life

Let’s say that your spouse wants to have sex four times a week, but you only want to once a week. Sex and intimacy play big roles in a marriage, which is why it’s important to meet somewhere in the middle of your sexual desires so that you’re both satisfied. If the reason that your partner wants to have less sex than you is because they’re tired after work, then switch things up to keep the flame burning. For instance, instead of waiting until after work, have sex in the morning or take a shower together. Sex is meant to be enjoyable and should never feel stressful or draining. Be sure to tackle any sexual issues head on; don’t wait until it’s too late to find ways to compromise with your partner.


If your idea of a vacation is basking in the sun on a white sunny beach, but your spouse would rather travel Europe with a backpack, then you have some compromising to do. When it comes to vacations, it’s important to take turns deciding on destinations. At the same time, it’s also important to agree upon a place together, even if it isn’t your turn to choose the type of holiday. For example, maybe you decide to do winter trips to tropical islands, and summer trips to backpack overseas. When it’s your partner’s turn to choose, be helpful and supply positive input about the plans. Another option that some couples choose to explore is agreeing to go on their own separate vacations. While this may not be for everyone, it is an ultimate compromise.

Money Matters

It’s important for both people in a relationship to have access to their own money and spendings. However, the amount that each spouse spends on a weekly or monthly basis should be a number you both agree on. Compromising over money can be tough, especially if one partner makes more than the other. To avoid confrontations or disappointment, sit down with your spouse and discuss your finances together. Do you as a couple have anything big that you’re saving for like a trip or new car? Is there anything that you personally need to purchase or replace? Money can be the root cause of many problems so agree on a budget, stick to it, and make sure you keep communications open.


About Amy North

Amy North is a women's relationship coach and best-selling author from Vancouver, Canada. Her high-acclaimed programs include "Text Chemistry" and "The Devotion System", both of which have helped thousands of women from around the world find (and keep) the man of their dreams.

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