Making big life decisions is never easy. It’s even harder when you have to take another person’s wants and opinions into consideration. Last week I talked about the big decision that Ben and I just had to make. A decision that ultimately will continue to keep us apart during the week. Making these kind of life changing decisions can be stressful and emotional. Being a over-thinker, like myself, only makes things worse. Even more so when your spouse is a go with the flow, live by the seat of your pants, kind of person like Ben. I know we’re not the only couple out there like this so I thought I would share some of the things we always try to remember when making big decisions.
TAKE TIME TO THINK ABOUT IT APART
We were lucky in this situation. I got the news while I was down in the Tri-Cities so we had a few days apart to think about everything and we didn’t have to make a decision right away. This gave us a few days to really think about things on our own. We were able to process everything for ourselves, which is important when you’re making a decision that you’ll have to live with.
MAKE A PROS & CONS LIST
In my opinion this is something that you should do separately and then again together. Make your separate lists and then come together and talk about each other items. Something that might be a con for me, might not be on his list. Maybe because he hadn’t thought about it or maybe because he already had a solution figured out.
TRY TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND
One thing that I struggle with is being open to other options once I’ve made up my mind. It’s definitely not my finest quality and something I have been working really hard to be better about when it comes to wedding planning. Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that it’s not just about you. You’re building a life with this person and you want it to be one that you both enjoy. You’re not always going to get your way and that’s fine. Just because you want something or would do something a certain way, doesn’t mean that it’s the only option. If you disagree about something ask yourself “is this something I will eventually get used to and be ok with or something that I just absolutely can’t do?” It’s all about compromise.
LISTEN TO EACH OTHER
Emotions can run high when you’re trying to make a decision that could change the whole course of your life. Try to keep a level head. You have to be willing to listen to each others thoughts and concerns. Try not to interrupt the other person when they’re talking. If you don’t listen to everything the other person has to say then you’ll just find yourself having problems later. Don’t say things like “that’s stupid” if you disagree with something they are saying. It doesn’t matter if you agree with them or not, if it’s something that they are bringing up then it’s a valid concern in their mind. Don’t discredit that.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE A BREAK
If the conversation starts getting to heated, take a break. Put the whole thing on the back burner. Whether you go to separate rooms for a little bit or just stop talking about it and do something else, taking some time to calm down and regroup is never a bad thing. There have been many times that Ben and I have had to just step back and a breath before we could continue the conversation.
Every couple has to figure out what works for them in that particular situation. Some of these are things that absolutely would not work for another couple or in another situation. Whatever the situation, be sure that both of you can look back on your decision and be happy with the choice you made.