Common Relationship Challenges

Compatibility – Do I have to like what my partner likes?

Compatibility! What is it? Compatibility is to be capable of existing or performing in harmonious, agreeable, or congenial combination with another or others. It is a feeling of sympathetic understanding, especially one of mutual trust or emotional affinity. It is a relationship characterized by harmony, conformity, and accord.

Thank you Mr Webster. Now, let’s break it down into something we can understand and apply it to your relationship.

Some have said that compatible partners are those who have the ability to talk over problems. “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility,” says George Levinger of the University of Massachusetts.

If you are a compatible couple, you are attuned to and see the value in each other’s qualities, especially If they are different than yours.

Another way to look at this is for a couple to have the ability to reach an agreement. They can reach this agreement because they see the value in what their partner is interested in. They don’t even have to like what their partner likes, they just have to be okay or value that their partner likes the things they do.

Having a disagreement, with a few exceptions, is not enough to end or even cause any long-term problem in the relationship. The only exception is when your partner’s activities are totally in the wrong or morally disgusting to you. In this case, if your partner doesn’t stop such activities, you would be facing a true incompatibility in your relationship.

When problems come up in a relationship, you must keep an open mind to the idea that there is a mutually acceptable solution. You have to continue seeking that solution until you find it. Your goal and desire is to make the solution work for the both of you.

When both partners are open to suggestions, and are willing to explore how these suggestions fits into their relationship, you have compatibility.

Lets take for example, recreation.
You may never want to do some of the things your partner does. They may not hold any interest for you what so ever. You don’t have to like going fishing or hunting or bowling or doing anything else your wife might enjoy. It’s great when you can enjoy things together with your partner, but the sign of compatibility is that you can see that your partner finds value in their pursuits. They should be given the freedom to enjoy outside activities without you feeling that they are doing something detrimental to the relationship.

On the other hand, if your partner is spending too much time engaged in outside activities, that is to say, that they are taking too much time away from you and the family, then chances are pretty good that something else is going on with your relationship that needs attention. Help is available for you at Relationship-in-Crisis.

Compatibility is a thought process. You can make up your mind to find the value in the things that are important to your partner, and to arrange for them to have the freedom to pursue whatever it is as long as it doesn’t betray your relationship.

You, on the other hand, would not have to participate in any of these activities. You can agree that your partner is welcome to do so if they wish.

When you are thinking about your partner, think of their style, their world as they paint it. Are you comfortable in it? If not, what is it that you are uncomfortable about? If you made a slight adjustment, could you fit better? When your partner likes something, you need to like, not the something, but to like that your partner likes it.


You are a compatible couple when you are capable of coming to an agreement about things. Compatibility is determined by how adaptable both of you are rather than by how identical you are. Do you have to like the things your partner likes to be compatible? No, you just have to like that they like the things they do. (say that ten times fast)

Commitment – Should I trust my partner?

To make a commitment is to promise, pledge or vow. It is to be obligated, bound, dedicated or to or show loyalty and devotion to. Commitment is to have a duty toward and to be responsible and accountable for something or someone.

Commitment in a relationship means that you have pledged a promise and will be faithful to your promise to accept the responsibility to take good care of your partner’s heart and feelings. Commitment is a conscious sense of duty to do so.

Commitment is what I would consider the most important part of any relationship. Without committed behaviors from one partner, the other partner will have little reason to trust in them because commitment and trust go hand-in-hand.

“How do you know when there is commitment in your relationship? The only way one knows if there is commitment from their partner is if they are displaying committed behaviors. Committed behaviors are behaviors that will neither betray the trust nor cause suspicion in their partner.

What are some non-committed behaviors? Flirting; this includes spending time in chat rooms and forums to meet others of the opposite sex, going places where your partner hasn’t been invited, keeping secrets, not wanting to spend time together, lying to your partner about where you’ve been, not making sure old relationship ties have been permanently severed. This includes visiting with or spending time with old relationship partners. One of the worst non-committed behaviors is threatening to leave the relationship or breaking up whenever there are problems. And of course, there’s the king of them all and that ultimate deal-breaker, cheating on your partner.

There are instances where the partner may not be aware that their behaviors fall into the above category. However, once it is pointed out to them why such behaviors are causing problems, then the partner should stop engaging in them and the issues worked out.

I know of one couple that met in an online chatroom. They played, flirted and after a while, the man left his current relationship and moved in with the woman. The woman expected her new partner to stop visiting the chatrooms. She felt that it would be understood that this was going to be an unacceptable behavior for him to engage in.

The man didn’t see anything wrong with visiting the chatrooms because it had been his form of entertainment for a long time. Meanwhile, the woman was feeling that she couldn’t trust her new partner, thinking that he was going to meet someone else in the chatroom and leave her. I wonder if that’s what his previous partner felt? Each had a valid point.

If this new arrangement was going to work out, something had to change. In a committed relationship, partners will take each other’s feelings into account and work together to find a win, win solution.

If you read the article on compatibility, you can see how being in a committed relationship will help you work out your compatibility issues.


Commitment has a two-fold value. First, it will keep you in the relationship while you work out any and all of your relationship problems and Second, it will give you that deep-down warm filling that you have a partner that will take care of your heart and that you can trust.

I hope you can see why commitment is at the top of the list.


Today it’s a game of hot pursuit. One partner is cheating, the other feels it’s their job to catch them. This game can turn violent or in the least can rob you of your health and sanity.

We call it an Affair, a Fling or a Thing. An affair is: A romantic and sexual relationship, sometimes one of brief duration, between two people who are not married to each other.

Makes it sound kind of non-threatening. Let’s bring it into your relationship. Now when one of you has an Affair, a Fling or a Thing outside of your relationship you get a whole different feeling, don’t you.

When someone has an affair outside of an already established relationship, we use the word “cheating”. In my mind the word “cheating” doesn’t do it justice. You can cheat at cards. You can find cheat-codes to enhance your electronic game playing. These things aren’t taken seriously at all. You can even cheat on your taxes and people somehow feel that’s okay, that you have somehow “won” or beat the system if you get away with it

Instead of “cheating”, a more correct term for having a sexual encounter outside of your relationship is infidelity.

Most cultures around the world use the term infidel to describe someone who has been faithless, unfaithful disloyal, practiced treachery or deceit toward, or has betrayed or violated another person.

Many marriages and relationships dissolve because of Infidelity. It’s not just the sex with another person, it’s the personal betrayal that the innocent mate can’t get over. In order to cheat, you have to lie, and fool your partner.

The question is always asked; “How can you say you ever loved me if you are willing to make a fool of me?”

Self-Esteem is destroyed because you feel you weren’t enough. Your concept of your relationship is shattered. You believed that you were in a monogamous relationship, you were wrong. You believed that you were both looking for the same future, you weren’t.

All of this makes you doubt your own perception of what the truth is. If the person you know better than anybody else can lie to you and you believe them it makes you start to doubt your own ability to tell the difference between the truth and a lie. You start to second-guess yourself.

You’re left with a lot of anger at the other person who had such little regard for you and your position in the relationship that they would violate that. The anger toward them is different than the anger you have for your partner. You may never get the opportunity to unload part of your anger.

Then you’re left with the anger at your partner, a righteous anger at this person who lied to you, and who disrespected you so much.

This is a big thing to get over, and unless your partner is willing to communicate with you, and give you a place to put all of this pain you may never be able to really get over Infidelity in your relationship.

This is the key to whether or not your relationship can survive an “affair”. Mine did but we couldn’t have done it without a certain attitude from both of us.

•  The affair has to stop. Period.

•  The guilty partner has to be willing to give the innocent the space that they need to feel what you feel about this betrayal.

•  The guilty partner must be willing to make him or herself accountable for their behavior. There are no reasons to have an affair, no matter how one rationalizes it to themself. Disloyalty and infidelity are a personal choice.

•  The guilty partner has no right to expect you to forgive and forget. Because even if you can forgive (which means to give as you did before) you will never be able to forget. So your partner has to expect that you will have residual moodiness for a long time maybe years later.

•  The guilty partner has to be willing to help you to build up your self-esteem. After all they helped to destroy it.

•  The guilty partner must be willing to be accountable for their time, and that there may now be certain activities that they will have to give up.

•  Most of all, the guilty partner must be willing to answer all of your questions in an honest and straightforward manner.

•  The guilty partner must be willing to not make excuses for their behavior.

•  The guilty partner must be willing to bare the consequences of their infidelity without complaining.

As you can see, this list makes getting over an act of Infidelity very difficult. But many relationships do. A servey taken of couples who have been through infidelity in their relationship showed that 20% survive this terrible time in their lives. They develop strategies for dealing with the pain and they learn how to move on.

If The guilty partner is unwilling to do the work in order to heal this breech of trust then you will find it very difficult to repair your relationship let alone forgive them.

Remember this: “Your needs are as important as my needs”. The innocent partner can’t act selfless and play the myrter; they will be denying your own needs. They will never recover from this if they do. There has to be enough communication between the two of you to know that the innocent partner’s needs are going to be met.

If not and if the guilty partner will never give the innocent partner the opportunity to heal this, you should probably consider your relationship DOA.

Remember that when there has been infidelity in a relationship, that eventhough the odds are may be against your relationship surviving, it can be done. it takes courage, humility, commitment, communication from both partner’s in order to recover.

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