Sunday, February 3, 2013

Resolving Disagreements

Question: How did you and your spouse make final decisions when you disagreed?


Marsha (and Richard)
I had an experience with this that has been very meaningful to me and I think it offers a good pattern on decision making.

In earlier years after fasting and praying about a specific decision I felt I had my answer but when we shared our thoughts my husband’s feelings were just the opposite of mine. I was surprised but felt it was my duty as a faithful wife and follower of the Priesthood to support his decision and said little about my own feelings.  It turned out to be a very poor decision.

Through the years my husband’s optimism and enthusiasm for business ventures resulted in several ideas for business ideas that frankly scared me.  Knowing I was the more cautious one, I would pray earnestly that if the decision was not right that he would lose interest and that if it was the right thing to do, that I would be able to also know and be supportive.

That worked well and we took some brave moves into the dark that resulted in some successful ventures.  However, when he became enthusiastic about one venture, I just couldn’t see it and he asked me to just support him.  I did.  Throughout the experience I realized that if it failed at least it would be a good learning experience and it was.

We have come to appreciate the value of working together on decisions.  My husband still makes many business and financial decisions as he sees fit and, knowing that he is being prayerful and trying his best, I approach it all with a similar feeling of hoping they will pay off for us but knowing not all things go as well as he might anticipate, but since money is not our goal, we continue to live the gospel and to do our best, taking what comes.

We have learned to appreciate each other’s feelings and spiritual direction. Once we disagreed about something and what we should do.  In exasperation I said to my husband, “Just go ahead and do whatever you think is best.”  He stopped me and replied, “No, until we both feel good about it, we don’t have the right answer."

When we approach important decisions with an earnest desire to know the Lord’s will and what is the best thing to do, we are better able to move forward with confidence and deal with the results, realizing that sometimes it will be a “growing experience," but it helps us exercise more faith and trust in the Lord and in each other.

Rachel (and Bennett)
It's a given that my husband and I will not see things from the same perspective.  It's important to try to understand our spouse's perspective, and when we do, our spouse will be more likely to want to understand our perspective.  When we finally can understand each other's perspective, it is easier to come to a compromise.  Prayer, communication, and trying to understand our spouse are vital things to do when trying to make decisions.

Jane (and Samuel)
If we could not agree after prayer and consideration we usually did what the Priesthood holder felt was best.  Sometimes we didn't do as much prayerful due diligence and I went along with decisions that I did not think were the best out of respect for his position as the head of the family.  I wanted the kids to see him as the final word and respect the priesthood authority in our home.  I don't remember any serious abuse of that authority.  If he was at home he always designated who would say the prayers.  It made it simple and respectful.

Kenneth and Catherine
We tried to see each other's vantage points and insights to come to an agreement.

Next week's question: How did you enrich your relationships with each of your teenage kids?

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