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The art of making a decision together as a couple

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A few tips for avoiding shouting matches and learning to work as a team.

Once the honeymoon is over, a totally different, hitherto unknown, side of your beloved spouse begins to emerge. They may try to force their views and opinions on you. “Until recently, he (she) was perfectly disposed to do whatever I wanted, but now, he (she) defies me and makes his (her) demands.” 

It’s the same old story about the newlyweds who have suddenly fallen off their magic cloud and seen themselves for who they really are. Each of them desperately tries to get the upper hand in the relationship.  But, how do they learn to make their decisions together?

Let your partner know where you stand

Unless you realize what living with someone else is, each partner is in for a nasty surprise. So, you’d better learn how to decide together and occasionally give in. 

To know where each of you stand, go through every aspect of your life and discuss them: the domestic chores, the pursuit of career, the choice of vacations, the number of children you hope to have, the handling of finances, your social obligations, sexual intimacy, etc.

From fighting to working together

The period of adjustment is never easy, but it allows the spouses go from fighting to working together despite their differences in temperaments or spheres of interest. 

In his “Epistle to the Romans”, St Paul urges all of us: “Accept one another, then just as Christ accepts you, in order to bring praise to God” (Rom. 15:7). Instead of drawing you apart, these differences can render your relationship more thrilling and gratifying. Accepting them is a major step toward personal maturity that will make your relationship stronger.  

Marie-Noël Florant, a marriage counselor

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