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Decision Making and Couples


When I counsel a couple in addition to dealing with communication and anger issues, we work on the skills of decision making.  One difficult problem to deal with is when one partner makes a decision on their own.   


Years ago, I saw a couple where the man got an unexpected  promotion that would involve him moving to another state, he came hope excited to tell his wife.  His wife was upset with him for not discussing the decision before discussing it with her.  Of course, the best way for couples to have a strong relationship is to jointly make a decision, but there are times for whatever reason that one person makes a decision on their own. In this blog I will discuss how to best handle that situation.


What not to do

1. Don’t minimize the other person’s objections


2. Don’t “oversell” your reasons.



What to do

  1. Work hard at understanding and articulating

    specifically your partner’s point of view.


   2. Work hard at being respectful of your partner.


   3. Be patient with your partner if they are upset with



   4. Think if there is some way you can modify your

       decision to take your partner’s perspective into



    Phrases like: “I can see why you would say that” or  

    “That’s one way of looking at it” can be helpful

     Warning: These comments must be genuine and not

    come off as patronizing.


For more information on how couples can make decisions well you may want to read my manual Negotiation for Couples: From Conflict to Connection.”  , which can be purchased and downloaded on this site.   






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