When we joined in marriage, it was all about the future! The life that lay before us, the children that would come, the memories that would be made, and the gray hair and wrinkles that would await us at the end of the journey. Somewhere along the way we realized marriage takes place less on a cruise ship and more often on a battleship!
Since marriage joins two imperfect people we should never assume the easiest path forward. Instead, we should expect to regularly work through differences. It’s in these moments that we shape our future. That’s right, it’s not the wonderful times of peace that shape us the most, but in the areas of tension and disagreements. For example, most relationships have a spender and a saver. It would seem that these two people will always be at odds. This can result in one spouse “taking control” in order to financially have their way. There are many areas where one person is going to have more of an interest or have more knowledge to contribute. It’s up to each couple to figure out who should take the lead.
No marriage is 50/50 in it’s decision making. A 50/50 decision is a split and therefore, no decision. Someone has to tip the scales. This is where healthy couples work through the give-and-take and where unhealthy couples simply fight for control and their own way. To get to a healthy place, you two need to understand who IS making decisions and who SHOULD make decisions. This is not necessarily an issue of being right, but being together. Unified in moving forward under the same banner of trust. If we often see ourselves as being right and our spouse as being wrong, then we will begin to assume that I should always make the decision. This could lead to dismissing our spouse in the decision making process of additional issues going forward. This creates a very troubling disconnect and causes a gap in the relationship. (See podcast season 2 episode 5 “Closing the Gap) We must listen to our spouse and find times to trust our spouse. When we have a relationship that cannot be built on trust, we have a relationship that isn’t built on solid to weather the storms of life. Don’t fight until someone wins and the other surrenders in defeat, instead communicate about the difficult decision before you and then decide where the trust should be placed. As we do that, we will not walk away winning or losing, but we can walk forward together, trusting that the relationship will be stronger no matter the outcome.