August 22, 2009

Define Common Space

Some couples are lucky enough to have very similar personal habits, pet peeves, and preferences. A great many more find great challenges in the details of home life. Regardless of beliefs, goals and values in common, they steam up over the way to squeeze the toothpaste or the proper place for dirty clothes.

Finding accommodations that both of you can happily live with is certainly the ideal solution to differences in style. Some couples become more similar simply by dint of living together and cease to feel the early tensions of being unique individuals thrown together. Other couples implement a bargaining style to get things done in their home. Each consciously gives way where they feel able and asks for extra consideration where they don't.

But sometimes these solutions just don't work. In such a case, a couple would be will-served to create a neutral territory-perhaps in an area of the house that would ordinarily be considered "public" space. here, it often behooves the less particular partner to accept the need for order and cleanliness that the other partner feels. Of course, living together happily also requires fair play. It's only fair that the other partner be allowed some space where she can kick off her shoes, loosen her collar, and enjoy what is truly comfortable to her.

The key to building a positive life together is always the same: mutual respect. You don't have to change who you are to appreciate a partner who is different. You do have to exercise the will to serve both of your needs, expend the energy to find a satisfactory way to do it, and develop the compassion to truly desire as much freedom and happiness for our partner as for yourself.--Richard Carlson


OluOla said...

Having space btw couples is so much important. i remember i used to fret over that when i newly got married, we were living in a 2 b/room flat then but now that we have a bigger house my hubby got himself a room where he can "express himself".... and men you just need to see how much expressing that goes on in there, there are clothes hanging from every closet, bed, you name it, lol.
i go in there from time to time to clean it up but i must say the concept suits me just fine.

Lady A said...

LOL! Exactly, hubby has his room too. Sometimes I have to pull him out of it. We all need our space!