MAKING IMPORTANT DECISIONS
In a marriage relationship, both partners should be involved to some extent in the decision-making. Traditionally, the husband is the one ultimately responsible for the outcome of the family decisions, but this does not mean he has the right to exclude his spouse in the process.
Marriage is an intimate relationship, and overlooking a spouse’s requests or undermining the value of her input is an abuse of power and an act of disrespect toward a valuable human being. In some marriages, women tend to be the dominant personality and may overstep their boundaries in the relationship by not considering their husband’s preferences or point of view when discussing matters that affect both their lives.
Major decisions like purchasing a house or new car are important life decisions that should always be discussed by both of you. Even when one person is more knowledgeable about the matter, the decisions about making the purchase needs to be discussed until an acceptable agreement is reached. Decisions about vacations, recreation, change in career, and education should be made together as well, particularly when there are children involved.
Although you may each be tempted to make other less important decisions without consulting your spouse, always remember that you are both part of a shared relationship, and any decision you make could impact your spouse’s life as well. Learning to follow the golden rule eliminates the friction in any relationship and will help foster a loving attitude of mutual cooperation in your marriage.
FRIENDS, RELATIVES, AND OTHER RELATIONSHIPS
Finding a way to combine two different circles of friends and family into one can be a challenge for any married couple. Although it may not be possible for all your friendships to be mutual, you should do your best to build relationships with couples with whom you can spend time together.
It is not wrong to take time every now and then with an old friend or a relative or to have a guys or girls night out as long as you are both in agreement and you are sensitive to the impact your decision will have on your marriage. If you make a habit of spending too much time separately with others or even involving yourselves separately in volunteer work in the community or other noble causes, you will begin to weaken your relationship.
This, again, is a problem of not making each other the focus in your relationship.
While there are many important things to be involved in and many people calling for your attention, you must be willing to limit outside relationships that compete with the attention you need to give to your marriage.