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Compromise to Cope

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It occurs to me that we cause a lot of stress on ourselves because things aren’t just the way we like them to be. We get into arguments with our spouses and/or others over the stupidest things, and arguments like that can result in tremendous stress.

Have you ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, you can reach a middle ground on some issues that will satisfy you both? In the spirit of “just getting along,” I propose you can reach a compromise on most things you argue about. Unfortunately it often doesn’t even occur to us to try.

We used to listen to a morning radio show where they have their listeners call in about a variety of topics. One day the topic was “stupid arguments with your spouse” and there were some dooseys.

The call I remember most clearly was about toilet paper. Yep, you read that right: toilet paper. The caller said that she and her husband had a knock-down-drag-out fight over how the toilet paper was placed on the roll: whether it should unroll from the top or the bottom.

I know, pretty dumb, huh? Perhaps you’ve had that discussion at home; my guess is that it didn’t result in a big fight but let’s use it as an example.

Regardless of how you feel about it (and there are valid arguments for either way), how can you compromise on this seemingly inane issue?

Here are some ideas:

1. Alternate each time you put on a new roll; one roll from the top, the next roll from the bottom, etc.
2. Get two toilet paper holders, one for each of you
3. Get a vertical holder (although you may then argue about unrolling from the right vs. the left!)

C’mon, people! Let’s be careful what we argue about and ask ourselves if the issue is worth the stress of taking a stand. My guess is that is isn’t.

This article is one in a series on coping strategies for patients and caregivers alike. For more thoughts on caregiving, coping strategies, reducing stress, and just plain fun subscribe to my free monthly newsletter at http://www.CaringAndCoping.com Need a speaker for an upcoming event? I have a program that will knock your socks off! Watch video clips at http://www.ThePPP.org/speaking/#handle

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.