An Uncompromising Position
Not sure how always find myself in these situations, but there I was again. Sitting in a room with 4 men (all 45+) as one begins to complain about his wife. The conversation center around why he puts the toilet seat down and was riddled with foolish ideas of his compromising in the relationship. It was comical. I shook my head and no matter how hard I tried I could not suppress the smirk that formed on my lips. But I had managed not to comment, and then he forced my hand…“Young sista. I see you’re not married.” the married guy starts (who name I later learned was Avery), “Let me give you a really good piece of advice to keep your man happy. Don’t nag about the toilet seat, cook him dinner and let him watch guilt free football. Relationships are about compromise.” He leaned back and seemed quite please with his advice and philosophy on life. I smiled sweetly, then I explained mine:
Putting the toilet seat down is not a compromise in a marriage. Or at least it shouldn’t be. A compromise is where to live, who (if any) gives up their career, how many kids you have, your monthly budget, etc. What the toilet seat requires is a shift in attitude in one or both parties. At any point a woman can decided that I need the seat down and he needs it up, it is not a big deal to put the seat down and it is not worth arguing over all the time. Eliminating the headache and argument. At any given point a woman can decide that watching sports (as long as he isn’t ridiculously obsessive with it) makes my man happy, and I like him to be happy, so I will let him have his games. As a matter of fact, I will make him some wings and let him have a boy’s night. At these suggestions he smiles and nods in agreement. Then I continue….
At any given point a man can decided, the seat being down makes my woman happy. It takes no energy or real effort to do it, and whenever I think about it, I am going to put it down because I like to see her happy. Thus eliminating the issue.
“BUTTTTT, that what MOST men do!” He exclaims.
“No” I replied. What most men do is put the toilet seat down so they don’t have to hear her mouth anymore. But it is in attitude, that the action is tainted. While the action is the same, your intent is not. And it is the intent of the action that has you here STILL complaining after 10 years of marriage. And every single time you perform the action, you’re adding up in your mind how many times you have given up something, keeping a mental tab or score over the SMALL things. Ohhhhhh….so many relationships are doomed to fail! That is not compromise. That is positioning or leveraging.
Compromise isn’t about one person being unhappy, or stopping an action to prevent hearing another person’s opinion or emotions. A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. One or both of you need to realize that this argument is silly and does not matter, if you don’t, one of both of you will always be unhappy.
Then I tell him, “Since you have now been informed, I think you should go first. But it is up to you. But I am done discussing toilet seats.”
“So… where is your man at?” The man to my right asks. Here we go…to be continued…