Strength & Weakness: Balance

Over the last week, we have explored the innate and learned behavior which defines and exhibits strength and weakness. To conclude this series, let’s explore how to strike a healthy balance of the two. As the title suggests, balancing strengths and weaknesses is the key for both the individual and the couple.

Will ~ Introspection

Open communication is not accomplished by being inflexible.

Being strong-willed does not equate to being completely inflexible on all fronts. Being weak-willed does not mean giving in to every notion floated. Balance is reached in the ability to compromise. Simple? Hardly.

By design, compromise means both parties ceding some ground to create a middle ground on which to meet. More often than not, one party will give up the ground for the pair to share. This is not true compromise, but when done in an equitable, alternating pattern, it can be acceptable to both for a long period of time without resentment.

For the strong-willed, it means learning to give in on the items which do not compromise character. For the weak-willed, it means learning to take a place on the playing field and standing one’s ground.

Beliefs ~ Inspection 

English: Internationally recognized symbol. De...

To effectively compromise, one must examine the belief system to determine non-negotiables. All which remains must be faced with an open mind and active listening skills. Whether the compromise is between friends, family or mates, it must come by means of open, honest communication.

Before clubbing the other person over the head with beliefs, one must learn the belief system of the other. (Attention audience: Belief system does not mean religion, although religion is a system of belief.) Compare and contrast the two and agree to mutually acceptable terms.

Terms can include encompassing certain beliefs while disregarding others. Disregarding a belief does not mean both people must give it up. For example, One believes nuclear power is the best solution to energy consumption. Mate does not have to believe nuclear power is the answer, but must respect One’s right to believe. Both mates agree not to let the belief become an issue in the relationship or marriage.


rose glasses crackedAll character traits can be carried through to extremes. Both should examine their own characters before discussing the similarities and differences to determine what level of character is acceptable. This conversation will define such non-negotiable subjects as fidelity and honesty.

The best approach to the conversation is to let the other person describe the character Mate exhibits. By listening to what Mate has deduced of one’s character, one can decide whether or not the self-assessment is accurate in practice.

Often, we idealize our own character and are lured into believing we are better than we act. Actions speak louder than words and are only drowned out by inaction. Complete honesty about one’s character begins with knowing how others perceive that character.

Prudence & Insight

The most difficult concept to compromise is the one of knowing which answers are best for the couple. Between them, they must choose who is to handle which decisions. From finances to child-rearing, discussing the boundaries is essential to longevity.

In this arena in particular, societal views, expectations and opinions should be wholesale ignored. The decisions within a relationship must be based on individual abilities and the willingness to accept such responsibility. When no natural leader emerges, the couple must agree to act as a unit to conquer the task.

For example, society deems men better equipped to handle money. When the man has a history of bad financial decisions and the woman is a trained accountant, society’s view is skewed and should not apply.

strength courage honor

Honor & Courage

Both partners must have honor and courage, but not in equal measure. Both must honor the compromises reached through honest dialogue. Both must have the courage to resist societal norms’ imposition on those compromises.

Barring illegality of the compromise, the couple must be able and willing to stand before their families and peers to declare: “What happens in our home does so because we make it happen. You have no right to judge us.”

This validation can be one of the compromises from Prudence & Insight, merely on the grounds one mate may be better equipped to be the marital spokesperson. However, both mates must subscribe to the validation for the couple to survive.

It takes two.

The third segment of this series asked:

How do these traits make men and women compatible when the characteristics are not in equal measure?”

In compromise can the sexes settle into a common ground where one mate’s abilities and strength of character can compensate for the weakness in the other. In compromise do both become stronger.


If you have missed the beginning of this series, visit the following links to catch up. The comments are important to understanding how we got to this post.

Strength & Weakness: Hers

Strength & Weakness: His

Strength & Weakness: His vs. Hers

Strength & Weakness: Theirs

Strength & Weakness: Nature

Strength & Weakness: Nuture


How has compromise strengthened your or Mate’s character in your relationship? Has the failure to compromise ended a relationship? What have you learned in this series?


© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. That if you are not equal in partnership then your relationship will not survive for long…

    As someone with many failed relationships I can honestly say that without love and equality most are doomed to failure.

    Better to get involved for a good reason than a bad one…

    Love and hugs!


    • What great insight. Better to choose the relationship for the mutual benefits than be yoked with one based on other reasons, like need. Thank you, Pren. {HUGZ} Red.

  2. Bear

     /  December 21, 2011

    After all of my searching for something/ someone I have found the person who is my equal. She is able to read me and help me, stand beside me, forgive me and I do the same for her, at least I hope I do. I have found it in my heart to forgive, And I know she will do the same, if the need should ever arise. I choose to walk beside this woman and not in front of or behind. I am of the mindset that there is no one in this world that could duplicate her. We are best friends, hopefully soulmates for life.. We walk as a couple, as one we complement each other…….

  3. I’ve often joked that the reason I’ve stayed married for 31 years is in the way we make decisions on problems that come up. I get to make all the decisions on the big problems, and she makes all the decisions on the little problems. So far, in 31 years, we’ve had no big problems… 😀

    All kidding aside, a good marriage works best when there is a mutual respect in the viewpoints between the parties. If I may, I’d like to add that differing viewpoints don’t necessarily lead to compromise, which carries with it a negative connotation of yielding ground to another. There are many times that our differences of opinions have led us to a much better solution than either of us alone might have thought had we not been challenged. Things are not always binary, nor are compromises a blending of things binary all the time. To be sure, there are situations that might require compromise, but there are also situations where the discussion leads to sounder and better decisions. Just adding a wrinkle to your discussion.

    • I rather think of it as a ruffle more than a wrinkle. Completely alternate solution is another form of compromise, as both parties still give up some of (if not altogether) the position. It is a twist on the conventional theory of complex problem solving…rather than additional variables, add Mate’s brain to help cipher. 😉

      Glad you are thinking…and glad there have been no big problems 😉 Red

  4. I think that we are always unequal, it is the measure of the inequality and whether there is balance. Where my strength is balanced by my partners weakness and vice versa, if that makes sense. It is when we begin to measure it out and withhold our support where it is needed that our relationships suffer.

    As my beloved likes to tease, if he sees someone coming with a gun he will yell “run honey run and beat me out the door, my strength is surviving bullets!” Yet I know he would stand before me if need be.

    • There is a lot of comfort in knowing he would, regardless of the situation presenting itself. You, of course, are right about withholding. I like to think of the balance like the scales when you first place the weights…both sides are fairly stable, but sway slightly.

      In our relationships, strengths and weaknesses change or erode over time. No character is truly finite, although I believe the propensity for character irrepressible…but that, my dear, is another post altogether 😉 Red

  5. Everyone wants to be right and be the winner, but it’s not a win when one of you is feeling ignored or unimportant. Even if it is against our nature, compromise does a world of good for both parties.

    • It is the whole team dynamic. Unless you both field a winning solution, no one wins. Red.


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