In the process of adjustment, compromise or sacrifice, we ultimately intend to meet the needs and wishes of the other party by making certain changes in self, or our plans or our lifestyles. While, all three are crucial aspects in a relationship, but it is important to know them better in order to use them better.



Merriam-webster defines adjustment as “a small change that improves something or makes it work better”. So, you kind of change or alter your way of doing things in order to match with your partner. Have you ever walked slower for a child knowing that he/she cannot walk as fast as you can? So, with an understanding of the other person’s capabilities and abilities, you choose to alter your functioning, so that there is a desired match and result. Other examples may include:

Ø  Dressing up in traditional wear for an occasion even though you generally prefer western

Ø  Ordering vegetarian meal because of the other person even though you are non-vegetarian

Ø  You doing the chore which is not normally your role because your partner is busy with other assignment

Having said that, it is important to acknowledge that these alterations are not made to please the other person or gain their approval, it is done with a rational understanding of your partner’s needs and wants.



There are generally two ways of looking at compromise:

(i) It is an adjustment done wrong to make the other person happy by giving up on something that is extremely close or important to you. Examples are:

Ø  Changing the way you dress for the other person (even when you don’t really wish to or understand why)

Ø  Giving up a job because the other party does not like it (even when you really have ambitious goals and wished to be financially independent)

Ø  Going against your own values and ethics because the other party demands it (saying a lie or not being there for your friend when they needed you)


(ii) When done correctly, it is when two parties are able to find a middle ground to a conflicting situation, in a way which appears more like both parties doing the adjustment right for each other. It is beneficial for both the parties as it enhances emotional intimacy in the relationship. Examples include:

Ø  Not asking your partner to give up the job, rather coming up with fields/ area of work which will be more acceptable for both of you

Ø  Not asking the partner to give up meeting their friends, rather coming up with a plan to do other things (chill in watching movies/ creative/ catching up with your friends) when the partner goes out

Ø  When the list of responsibilities is getting overwhelming for one, instead of nagging/ fighting/ sarcasm you address the concern and the other partner proposes a plan to take off some of the load on themselves in a way which does not cause them an overload



Now sacrifice better be the last resort in any relationship. When neither adjustment nor a plan to compromise is found, one of the partner decides to sacrifice for the sake of the relationship. So let’s say, one of the partner quit their job to move to another city to be with their partner because no other solution was possible and the kids would then be with only one parent, then this would be like a sacrifice.

            Sometimes, we make small sacrifices (not attending a friend’s birthday party; not going for a massage and instead being there for your partner) and other times big (quitting a job/ changing a city/ fighting with your dear ones to stand for your partner). A sacrifice looks like compromising on something very important to you for almost forever or at least for a long time, knowing it will cause a significant impact to you. But in essence, sacrifices when done correctly, with an understanding of the situation, with consent and in moderation serves a healthy lifeline for the relationship.


While, in modern times these concepts of adjustment, compromise and sacrifice are highly misunderstood and misused, it is crucial to know that all three remain an integral and important part of relationships. If a healthy and long-lasting relationship is desired, both the partners have to learn the art of using the three fundamental concepts and never forget to exercise gratitude for each time their partner adjusts, compromises or sacrifices something!