With the six week FYI social experiment “Married at First Sight” coming to an end, the individuals agonized over one of the most difficult decisions of their lives…whether to stay married or get a divorce. In the end, all four committed to giving their relationship a chance beyond six weeks, in the absence of cameras.
This is not a decision any one of them took lightly. It’s the one time they had to examine what is best for them individually.
In contrast, many decisions in marriage require two people. That can be a challenge when each person brings their own unique set of thoughts, ideas and values. As the couples start to live their lives in the ‘real’ world, compromise is the key to lasting success.
Compromise takes empathy. You have to be willing to set aside stubbornness. The desire to work through issues needs to be more important than the desire to be ‘right’.
What compromise does not require, is sacrificing the very core of who you are. Whether it’s faith, politics, children, or issues of social justice, your passions must remain intact.
I understand Tom’s defining characteristic as a minimalist, the importance of Lilly’s job and her desire to have children. I understand Nick’s discomfort in expressing himself as an introvert and Sonia’s need for emotional love and respect. The question is, will they understand, have empathy for one another and find a way to remain true to themselves?
Compromise must be equally measured over time so each person feels respected in the process. It’s not one-sided, rather a mutual concession that allows both parties to keep their integrity. Also, there are times when it’s necessary to agree to disagree.
As the couples begin this new chapter in their lives, it’s imperative to find a way to search for common ground. There are very few issues in marriage that can’t be worked through with mutual empathy, respect and integrity. And yes, hopefully for these couples…love.