My husband and I started dating 19 years ago. I have learned so much about compromising. As I told my children, when you are single you make the best decisions that you can. When you are married, you have a partner to make decisions with and it is a whole new world.
I was looking at an apartment in the suburbs where I grew up when I met Seth. I would say my first compromise was living with him in the city where I wasn’t too keen on. Sometimes we give in. Sometimes we get our way. Sometimes we meet in the middle. The goal isn’t to win. The goal of marriage is for you both to win. When we win and our spouse is unhappy, that doesn’t feel like a win to me. I love when we meet in the middle.
After our first apartment, I found our first home and asked Seth to come look at it. I had found a house I really liked before this, but Seth wasn’t comfortable spending that much money. You will see this theme throughout our marriage. Seth is a very responsible and conservative financial planner. This can be difficult to be married to, but he has all our ducks in a row. I am so thankful for that. We don’t want me to be in charge of the finances. In fact, I just bought myself a Mother’s Day gift. You and I both know I deserve it.
I came down $30,000 in price and found a home that Seth liked and was comfortable buying. I wanted to start a family. I was approaching 30 years old, and my biological clock was ticking so loud that I couldn’t hear anything about Seth wanting to wait. If I wanted a few kids, I felt like we better get cracking. Arrival of baby number one. We love our son Max and had a wonderful couple years with him before baby number two came. Seth was ready for a daddy’s girl and was anxiously awaiting us having a second baby. We listened to each other, and it worked out really well. I pushed for Max. Seth pushed for Ella. We were learning about the give and take of a marriage.
My husband was very content with a boy and a girl but if you know me you know that I was definitely not feeling finished having children. I pleaded my case, and my husband was listening. I told him I wanted four kids. Seth told me he wanted two kids. I think meeting in the middle at three was the perfect compromise.
We were busting out of our first home and decided to look for our second home. Seth told me a number to stay under and with the bidding wars going on I was having a lot of trouble. I wanted a house in East Amherst. I wanted my kids to go to certain schools, but it wasn’t looking good.
After six months of looking and Seth’s patience waning, I found our home. It wasn’t in the location I wanted but it was perfect for our family size and price wise. The location turned out to be fabulous too. Together we were making decisions that we were both comfortable with.
This brings us to the present moment. We have three children, two cats, one dog, two cars, one house and multiple businesses. I see another car in our future as our son will get his license in a few months. I see less driving in my future.
I have been talking to Seth about getting a pool for a few years now. During the pandemic when everyone was staying home enjoying their pools is when it really hit me that I would love a pool. I can’t even tell you how many friends got pools and dogs during the pandemic. My husband, my kids and my brother all told me that I have my parents pool five minutes away. My smart husband bought us a hot tub to get me to be quiet for a while. We love our hot tub. I am so glad we made that step. I told Seth I wouldn’t have wanted the pool / hot tub combination because I wanted a separate hot tub that I could use all year and he totally agreed.
I started talking to pool companies and getting frustrated. First, they take forever to call you back, if they call you back. Second, they are so backlogged, and they can’t even tell you when they can put your pool in. Third, have you priced an inground pool recently? I don’t know what has happened to the pool industry but prices have more than doubled. When I told my husband what the recent pool quote is and that I wanted to go for it, he looked at me like I was completely crazy. Seth enjoys saving money and I enjoy spending money. In Seth’s defense he majorly has college on the brain. Before you come for me, I am earning a very good paycheck too. I contribute a lot. I would like to double my paycheck and will keep working towards that. Especially with our kids headed to college soon.
My friend Clare posted her Kayak pool on Facebook. A huge thank you to Clare. I looked at her pool and I showed Seth. I had to call Clare and find out more information from her. I owe Clare a gift because her and her husband have answered all of our questions. They love their pool and Seth was very intrigued by going in this direction.
I knew Seth didn’t want to spend a fortune on an inground pool. I knew this Kayak pool was still a LOT of money so I didn’t get my hopes set on anything. We discussed and talked to Kayak a few times and decided to go this route. I told Seth how impressed I was with us learning to discuss and compromise on things such as a pool. He didn’t say no pool. He said no to the inground pool. Seth said he is not comfortable moving or getting an inground pool right now. He reminded me that in two years Max is headed to college. He reminded me that in four years Ella is headed to college. Do you see where his mind is?
My mind is on a beautiful pool with a waterfall and his mind is deep into college. Seth really prioritizes our children’s college education. As giving as you may think I am, I also know that I have things that I want too that have nothing to do with my children. I think that’s ok. I think that we found a perfect middle ground. It is being delivered Friday. If you are looking for us, we will be in our pool this summer. Don’t worry mom, the kids promised me that we would still come swim with you and that’s a given!
Seth and I have learned over the years to hear each other out and try to come up with a solution that makes us both happy. This has even made us creative as we think about how to meet in the middle.
Have I been frustrated? Yes. Has Seth been frustrated? Yes. Keep talking it through and look for creative ways to compromise and problem solve. Talking to your supports can help too as they may think of something that you didn’t think of.
Keep Compromising and working together. Marriage isn’t always easy but if you look for the win win then you will go far.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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