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Decisions in Marriage

Decide What Decisions Should Be Made Together

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You each make decisions throughout your day, every day. Some decisions are made automatically and without much thought such as brushing your teeth in the morning.

Additional decisions are made as a matter of course such as deciding what to prepare for dinner. Other decisions may be forced upon you in difficult and stressed times.

Most decisions have a short impact on your life. Other decisions can have a more lasting impact. As a married couple, you need to talk about how you will make decisions.

What are Important Decisions?

Obviously, you will each make many decisions on your own. Hopefully, you aren't deciding as a couple when to cut your hair or what color socks you are going to wear.

What you consider to be important decisions is one of the first decisions you should make in your marriage. Most couples consider the following decisions to be major decisions that require discussion and agreement.

  • Where the two of you will live.
  • How many children you will have.
  • Parenting styles.
  • How you will spend and save money.
  • The amount of free time you will spend together.
  • Household chores.
  • Decisions regarding a crisis.
  • Future plans.

Once you have agreed about what decisions you want to make together, talk about how the two of you will handle making decisions together.

For example, in talking about finances, many couples set an amount of money that they feel is the top limit of spending individually. Any thing either of you wants to purchase above that amount needs to be discussed and be a mutual decision.

Sharing Responsibility for Decision Making

If either of you take on a dominating role and expect to make all the major decisions in your marriage, your marriage will suffer.

"Making decisions should be a shared responsibility. Studies have shown that the unhappiest people in a marriage are often those who have the burden of making decisions alone. In the most successful marriages, decision making is a shared activity."

"Another characteristic of a successful marriage is that both partners are sincerely concerned about the wishes and personal preferences of the other. They are both willing to go more than halfway in reaching mutually satisfying compromises. Decisions or compromises that are made are made willingly instead of grudgingly."

"Sharing decisions means that neither spouse has to be "wrong" or "lose." Both share the results. There is no resentment aroused by the attitudes of "who was right" and "who was wrong." There is the mutual growing together by the sharing in making "our decisions."
Source: Mississippi State University Extension Service

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