Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

6Feb/090

Marriage and the Road Trip, Part 1 of 4

Married life can be comparable to an extended road trip…spending long hours together deciding where to go, how to get there, what to eat and who’s driving. There’s bad weather, dull conversations, and traffic to make the trip difficult sometimes (not to mention occasionally getting lost), however, find the right traveling companion and follow a few key rules of road etiquette, and your bound to have a great time…and collect a lot of great road trip memories.

This post begins a multipart series of tips for marital bliss. I hope you appreciate my suggestions, and that they contribute to a smoother ride for you and your beloved companion.

Trip Tip #1: Make Decisions Together –
One of the greatest rules I learned in marriage is to decide together. When you make your decisions as a couple, your achievements, problems, and mistakes will all be shared. In my life, those shared decisions kept me from being able to placing the blame on my spouse. Whenever I felt the temptation to be angry at Stacy, I was convicted by the fact that we had discussed the issue at hand, and make the final decision together. If I had agreed to the idea, regardless of whether it was originally her idea, it was not our problem, or our mistake. We call this the policy of enthusiastic agreement. Good couples don’t fight each other over things and they don’t avoid argument, they discuss them without hurting each other’s feelings and come to a decision they both appreciate.

This was HUGE for us when it came to finances. I’m a spender, and buying things without discussing them with Stacy was a big point of tension between us when we were first married. Now, I know that my job is not to find a good deal, but to find a good deal and then convince her that buying an item is a great idea. If we can’t agree to buy it, then I don’t. I may pass up a few good deals now and then, but agreement before the purchase means a much smoother ride for the both of us.

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