Compromise within our relationships

I will be away for the next few days. We are going to a beautiful 5 star hotel, right on the edge of Lake Bala in Wales. It has all the facilities that you care to name, including fabulous service and food. It is in a quiet position, with beautiful views and is really an idyllic retreat. We have been before, and when offered the opportunity to return, we gratefully accepted.

This will be great, in particular for my wife, Sue. Since my diagnosis, Sue and my family and friends have helped me with everything that I have needed, and I have been needy unfortunately, and still am!! I have changed greatly, as a person, through the process, ultimately to become a better person I think, but still a different one.

This has been accepted by my gang without question. They have accepted that I will no longer be able to work, and fully understand that my work in the cancer field, is my new crusade. They support me when I attend meetings, and am on the phone continually. Now they have accepted that I will spend hours, most weeks, writing content for the blog.They understand that this is what motivates and stimulates me.

Due to my continuing treatment, and hospital visits, I have felt very drained for a long time now. Therefore I am not mad keen on going out and socialising. However we have a lot of friends and get invited to a lot of things. As I explained previously, my friends have been very supportive, and want to see me, so I have a dilemma! Also Sue really enjoys getting out, so we reach a compromise, about what we do.

Since I have lost my taste and smell, even the simple pleasure of eating out, has become less of a joy.Sue thinks I’ve turned into a grumpy old man, and I am sure she is right!! As everything seems tough going these days, even enjoying myself seems a chore!

My point is, that a good relationship, is based on an element of give and take. I don’t just mean our personal relationships. I’m talking about with friends, in the work place, even with strangers. Almost everywhere we go, we meet people, and we are all different. we all see things with a different perspective. We have to learn to understand other peoples views, even if we don’t agree with them.

When a relationship starts, you have two individuals. As it develops, they start to form a union, but the individuals are also changing during this time, so for the  relationship to be sustainable, each must accept the changes of the other. After a period of time, some look back and don’t see the same person, and the relationship crumbles.

If serious illness enters into the equation, you can see how things can go wrong. An example of this can be that instead of being lovers, the relationship changes to carer-patient. Neither party would choose this, but it has happened! Sometimes this is temporary but sometimes more permanent. With any long term illness the problems can get more difficult as the time goes on. Particularly as the patient becomes more reliant on those around them.

Those of you that work, just think for a minute about how much compromise you do with your work colleagues! Some you like, some you don’t, some play office politics, others are straight forward. If we all did and thought what we wanted, we would have all out war quickly, and no company would be working.

Everyone has wants, and needs, that is ALL of us! We can all help to fulfil other peoples needs, if we put ours behind us for a bit. Sometimes we will come first, and other times second. One thing that is a fact, is that we all need each other, to help us get through life.

Maybe if we gave a little more time thinking about others, they might give more time to thinking about us? Relationships can be hard work, lets be honest, even if both people are healthy, but I guess it is the same as most things in life. If we don’t put anything in, there will be nothing to take out.

Do you agree with my observations? Have you any relationship examples you would like to share?


  1. I totally agree about the importance of compromise in a relationship Chris and when outside factors, like illness or bereavement for example, affect the way you feel or behave then the only thing that can happen is that your relationships need to adjust. We may not be aware of it, but our lives are constantly in flux and we need to allow for this fluidity and go with it as far as possible.

    Another great blog post as ever Chris. Keep up the good work!

    P.s. I’ve been in touch with Lucy Uwins and her boyfriend Richard Thorn today who are doing the British 10k for us and specifically for your fund! Isn’t that great?!

  2. Hi Maribel
    You make some great points,and I think that we are both in agreement. However I know from experience, how difficult a lot of people find compromising, for what ever the reason.My biggest issue, is that people have to compromise because of my situation. It’s just something I feel personally, and I know a lot of my fellow patients feel too.

    Really great that Richard and Lucy have chosen to help our fundraising. It’s all thsse sort of things that make my work so satisfying!

    So pleased that you are enjoying the blog. There is a lot more to come!!Thanks again for your very meaningful comments which i know that other people will find useful, Chris

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