Collision Compromised

What is a compromise? A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.

Is a compromise long lasting?


We all experience situations in life where we stand in a corner with a hand on our head, unmindful of being watched, figuring out a way – if we are sane and lucky – to end our acute or chronic misery.

The sufferer tries to combat his agony before it spirals out of control. He may walk into the solitude of an old pub to smoke or drink. Nerves calmed. But he might endure the anguish for hours for a solution remains a dream. He has long let compromise clink with forks and spoons on the dining table.

Let’s talk about husband and wife.


Compromise compresses the windpipe of this relationship gently and steadily, and for years, both might not feel the stretch in their necks. Only when the choke is felt one day – which is likely when things have reached a dead end or sacrifices began to mean nothing – does the head start to feel heavy.

The body is moved to the ER, the diagnosis of a brain stroke made. When the sufferer is unconscious and is lying in bed, the other half – husband or wife – arrives. Either might wonder if compromise was long allowed to jingle and jazz, resulting in the painful present. Either might wonder if collision was a better option, which might have spared the ER visit.

What is a collision? A brief event in which two or more bodies come together – the collision of the particles results in an exchange of energy and a change of direction.

Is collision a viable alternative?


Collision is a crash for which a husband and a wife could possibly handle the non-death part and move on to live their respective lives, effectively choking the clown of compromise once and for all.

In the beginning of a newlywed’s life, making concessions is easy, “Honey, I love you (here’s my concession),” but with time, concessions to settle differences become a habit, and one starts to take the other for granted. Repeat this for years and there one goes heading to the ER.

Suppose the ER patient is saved, and he’s out of the hospital. After a week or two of meaningful life together under a roof, who can guarantee that things won’t revert to the old concessional ways. Beware: compromise never expires; and no-compromise is a sure collision.


I watched Mad Men some years ago. In its second season, Don Draper – the lead protagonist who’s going through marital issues – is reading a book, Meditations in an Emergency. The title is self-explanatory. Would this book be of help?

The attempt is to save people, not lose them to brain stroke.


Silence is effective (Photo Challenge). Strategy kills trust (Daily Post).


31 thoughts on “Collision Compromised

  1. Very well written and thought out – oh, the pressure of compromise – I like what conflict can do.

  2. What a terrific piece! It gives us something to chew over and reflect upon. I love the closing line: “The idea is to save a soul and not lose it to brain stroke.” This is a matter of life and death and you treat it with due seriousness, but also with a touch of wry humor. And you don’t give us a pat answer, either: collision or compromise? Hmm.

  3. Wow! I love the way you put the this issue without even touching the serious lines of it and yet seriously conveying what you wanted to say.A very good article, cause compromise and collision is a part of everyone’s life today. I like the way you ended as well 🙂

  4. Well, we’ve been together over 25 years. Still going strong, better than ever. So. There has been compromise – obviously. And there has been collision. Numerous times. But always there has been eventual admission by us both that we each had a part in the breakdown. Maybe one is more ‘at fault,’ but we both apologize. Sincerely. Which allows the one that is more culpable to really ante up and admit their unconsciousness in the matter.

    I’ll tell you though, Mahesh – so much of this relationship thing is luck. This is my third marriage, so obviously I had much to learn. The magic of this one is that we both were invested in the mechanics of making it work. And both had the integrity to respect basic ground rules. Once we created that safety net, we were allowed to grow both as a couple, but also individually. I really do feel blessed to have experienced this. Because waiting for catastrophe to awaken a person would not be something either of us would choose.
    Aloha ❤

    • “But always there has been eventual admission by us both that we each had a part in the breakdown” – Married couples must read this. Also – “…we both were invested in the mechanics of making it work.” You’re always looking at the positive side of life which is enriching and encouraging. Such valuable input this is, dear Bela. I am impressed and not surprised. Thanks, and have a great day! xo

  5. Beautifully written!!. Life is boring without challenges. Compromise is uncomfortable and flutters your ego. It needs a great strength of mind for any sort of compromise. Marriage is no doubt the best institution to learn how to compromise ;). Looking forward to the next post.

  6. Wonderful post on a complex topic, Mahesh. The idea of compromise reminds of the word sacrifice, which has a similar meaning. In line with your ER analogy, compromise doesn’t always work out and not all of us will live to agree to disagree. Some of us might agree to disagree for a while, but there will always be this voice in our head that tells us that we are not satisfied. And this is where the danger arises: the more we hear that voice and do nothing about it, the more we bottle up our true feelings and they might be unleashed in undesirable ways.

    I reckon for a relationship to work and for both parties to feel like they haven’t lost a sense of their individual self, it’s important to have collisions and be honest with each other – speak your mind rather than speak a lie, hurt now rather than hurt later. Deal with the challenges as they come about. I also agree with Bela about actively making a relationship work – both have to be committed to being together and wanting the best for each other individually and as a team ❤

  7. When I told my dad many years ago that I wanted to marry my boyfriend I remember clearly his response. “Marriage isn’t about love, it’s about compromise. Are you ready to spend the rest of your life doing that?” I wasn’t and eventually we broke up and I married my now husband many years later. Funny how u stirred that memory for me w your well-written post!

  8. Mahesh a fascinating article. Dave and I have been together for almost 40 years. There have been collisions but I’ve rthe years we have become skilled at communication, compromise and the fact that we each can have our own opinions. Sometimes there is no right or wrong way, just different. Acceptance of individuality is often a strength of relationships in our experience.

    • Thanks for your kind feedback, Sue. I love these words and they’re true: “Sometimes there is no right or wrong way, just different. Acceptance of individuality is often a strength of relationships in our experience.”

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