When it comes to tough decisions, how do you decide which path to take? It's not easy when it's just you making the decision, but add in a spouse/partner, and it just became harder. That's because it's not all about you anymore. For purposes of this post, we're not talking who should take out the trash each week or what to do with $20 extra dollars. Let's talk about the HARD issues - the ones that make or break a marriage. So, how do you and your spouse make tough decisions? And what happens when you don't agree?
Craig & Angela Bickford share their thoughts in this week's He Said/She Said blog.
Tough decisions are all around us - we've had several in just the 4 short years we've been married. But, I think the hardest decision we've had to make deals with our desires to have children and how far we're willing to go to make it possible. You see, we are struggling with infertility. So, we have to make decisions like what procedures to try, how much to spend - aka do we go into debt over this?, when to move to the next option, etc. And, we haven't always agreed. I think it's rare for a couple to be confronted with a hard choice and immediately agree. For us, we've spent many days in deep thought, prayer, and conversation about our toughest decisions. We first gain insight into each other's side of it, then we pray, then we might seek outside counsel or opinion, and ultimately, we come back together again to make the final choice. Our choices aren't always right, but we know that we've made them together. We don't always end up in agreement, and one of us might have to give in a little or a compromise might have to be made, but again, we've made a decision together. Another important thing is that we don't keep tabs or score on who got their way (if it wasn't a mutual decision) - we don't want it to be a competition, we truly want the best decision for US to be made. So, in the end, I think it's key to talk to your partner, lay all the feelings, options, etc. on the table, and come to the best decision possible for the both of you.
My mother told me a long time ago that you have to "pick your battles." I know that she did not invent the statement, but coming from her it always rang truer then from any other source. I think this is a major part of "decisions" that are being made between couples. Even life changing decisions can turn into discussions instead of fights if you keep this in mind as you are thinking about your side of it. In the 5 years Angie and I have been making decisions with the other person in mind, we have relied on prayer and time to help us through the tough issues. I think these are the two ingredients that will help keep the communication flowing and not end it before a conclusion is reached.
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