A recent conversation with a married friend of mine quickly resulted in my wanting to get feedback from my BMWK family on this particular topic. This friend made a personal choice that her spouse disagreed with. While her husband was not pleased she felt confident that he would come around, and honestly our spouses usually do. Normally, much thought and careful consideration go into any decision made in a marriage. Couples must think of how the outcome will affect the overall relationship and spouse, as well as their family. On the other hand, there are those rare individual choices we make because they simply result in joy for us. These choices aren’t intended to harm the marriage, only to satisfy a longing we have.
Once we say “I do” we are naturally expected to join together and become one flesh, just as it states in Matthew 19. This means we are to forsake all others and consult one another when it comes to making major and minor decisions that directly alter how we progress in our family life. That makes sense, right? But what about those decisions that only affect one individual in the relationship, and the other spouse is not at all on board. Career goals and changes, going back to school and physical alterations all fall under this category. As we learn, grow and mature, our lives change and the things we didn’t seem to want in the beginning of the marriage are now what we’re longing for; and shouldn’t our spouse automatically be on board?
It is natural for our partners to be protective over us, so it makes sense they might first question something they don’t quite understand. But how we present the decision to our spouse can make a huge difference.
Getting married doesn’t change the fact that we are still two individuals within that union. There are going to be personal desires which our spouse will not understand, but if it’s important to us and our partner gets to witness the impact it has on us, then we’re on the right track. We aren’t going to always agree or feel the exact same way all the time. When those times occur we must be clear and communicate effectively. Explaining why, at this moment, this idea is so important to us and how it will make us better provides greater insight and will likely result in a greater understanding.
BMWK, have you ever made a decision your spouse disagreed with? What was the result?