Compromise vs Sacrifice

Any relationship has it’s share of compromise. That is not to say that we are talking only romance here – it could be any relationship – husband-wife, children-parents, friends, office colleagues, in-laws, cousins, uncle-niece, aunt- nephew, even casual acquaintances.

When the relationship is just born, one person is just getting to know the other – their likes and dislikes, their preferences and tastes, their habits and character and so on. That is when the compromise starts – one giving in to the tastes or preferences of the other. One doesn’t like meat, the other gives it up. One doesn’t like clubbing, the other gives it up. And so on. These acts are purely voluntary – altruistic actually. Healthy relationships use this compromise as a stepping stone to grow and step into the next stage.

The life-cycle of a relationship can be likened to that of a tree – just as a seed planted takes root and sends out a tender shoot, the fledgeling stages of a relationship also needs tender nurturing and care. The sturdy sapling grows rapidly if all the conditions are correct and so does the relationship. When the tree reaches it’s full height, it starts yielding fruits and flowers, even without really being tended to. Similarly, when we have invested our love, attention, care and ourselves into any relationship, it would obviously pay rich dividends and not require the same care as it ages and matures. This is not to say that all is smooth sailing. Every tree faces a few storms in it’s lifetime. It’s survival is based purely on what has gone into it and how strong it is.

However, the nurturing and tending should always be a two-way street – a give and take situation. If one member in the relationship keeps on compromising and the other member keeps on dictating and taking, the relationship becomes toxic and lop-sided. It is something similar to us watering the sapling but leaving it in a dark corner, where there is no sunlight. The relationship would wither away, as surely as the sapling would.

It is during the difficult days when we are trying to revive and bring green from the brown, that we need the most strength. If both members are committed enough to nurture, they would identify the lopsided compromise and correct it. However, if only one member is looking at saving the relationship at whatever cost, the compromise continues and continues until it hinges on the verge of sacrifice. No relationship should be built on sacrifice – it just wouldn’t survive then. No person should have to change themselves, their inner values, beliefs and principles for anything – not even another person. It just doesn’t make sense.

Not to say that we should maintain a ledger book for the give and take. There can never be an apple to apple comparison, purely because we are dealing with feelings and emotions and not apples here. But anyway and any day, nurturing a tree and making it flower is way, way easier than nurturing and maintaining a relationship. That much, I am sure, we all know. 🙂


One thought on “Compromise vs Sacrifice

  1. Padma Balasubramanian

    This reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with a common Friend of ours. He termed it as “investment in current scheme”. How interesting, that a relationship could be equated to a financial investment. You have done a great job Malini in equating them.



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