Me vs. You

Ten ways to break a stalemate on a big decision

Jim wants to have a larger family. Denise feels overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising the two children they already have.

Allison has been offered a lucrative promotion if she'll relocate to the Southwest. Frank likes his job in the Midwest and wants to stay close to his aging parents.

Dennis has his heart set on a new sports utility vehicle. Cindy, the frugal partner, can't stand the idea of buying a new car that will depreciate the moment they drive it off the lot. She wants to buy a used mini-van that her father will sell them below market price.

Most couples easily negotiate the give-and-take required for everyday matters, but what should you do on the rare occasion when you disagree on a major decision? Here are ten suggestions for working your way through a significant impasse.

  1. Be allies, not adversaries.
    Rather than using your life experience, intelligence and personality to sway the decision in your favor, combine forces to arrive at the best solution. The result you reach by cooperating will be better than anything either of you could come up with on your own.

  2. Seek a win-win solution.
    Anything less than a mutual victory will prove hollow in the long run because it's human nature to resent solutions that are imposed on you. In the vast majority of cases, a win-win solution is achievable. If that seems unattainable, first seek input from an outside source of counsel. A mentor or counselor may suggest a solution you haven't considered. If necessary, settle for a solution in which the cost to one spouse or the other is minimized as much as possible.

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Decisions; Disagreement; Marriage
Today's Christian Woman, Spring, 1999
Posted September 30, 2008

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