Living together and the art of compromise … or not
Living together and the art of compromise … or not

Living together and the art of compromise … or not

It’s 3am and I’m sitting up in bed with my computer. I can’t sleep.

I’m back in my old house, the kids are out and everything’s quiet. It’s just me and Gypsy, the cat, who’s curled up on the bottom of my bed.

Things are as they used to be – it’s almost like having my old life back.

But not quite.

I don’t live here any more.

If I don’t look around me, I can pretend it’s still my room.

It’s still my bed, that hasn’t been moved yet. And they’re my sheets on the bed, but that’s it. There’s nothing else of mine here.

Do I want it to still be my room? I don’t know.

It’s tough moving in with somebody else, and having to share – and compromise.

I’ve had it all my own way for 17 years. Well, I’ve had to share with my kids, but I’ve made all the decisions.

I’ve decided where we live. I’ve decided what furniture we’ll have, what type and colour of sheets, towels, plates, etc. I’ve decided who gets what bedroom and where all the furniture will be placed in the house.

And I’ve decided if I want to sit up in bed and work when I can’t sleep.

But not any more.

You expect to have to make some compromises and negotiate changes when you move in with somebody. But so many? And do they all have to be so hard?

The latest one – today, which could be part of the reason I can’t sleep – was about washing powder of all things!

Such a stupid little thing, but it’s the ittle things that will get you.

He uses a different type of washing powder than I do. And I changed it.

With good reason.

His doesn’t work. I tried it for 3 weeks, it didn’t clean the clothes.

I noticed some of my clothes were getting that not quite clean look, and some of the whites were looking a bit grey.

He did a load of washing a few days ago and hung it on the line. When I was bringing it in I noticed that my dress still had spots on it.

At this point, if you’re a bloke you’ll probably be shaking your head and saying “Shit, he did the washing AND hung it on the line. What more do you want?”

Well, as unreasonable as it might seem. I want my clothes to be clean when they’re washed. And at the risk of sounding like a washing powder commercial, I want my whites to be white and my colours to be bright.

I took my (still dirty) dress and soaked it in his (no-name) soaker. Spots still there.

So I went out and bought a box of the washing powder I have always used and washed the dress again with another load.

Guess what – clean dress!

So what’s the problem?

Well now he’s upset because I won’t compromise. He says I just want things done my way and that’s that.

I agree I find it difficult to compromise sometimes – especially when I’m right.

I really can’t see why I should compromise and do something that doesn’t work just because that’s what he’s always done.

That’s just stupid.


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