Are you ready to change the way you make decisions once you get married? Because if you do not, you just might ruin your marriage!

As a single person you were probably used to making independent decisions. It is important that now you are married or as you go into marriage, you understand that you must shift from an independent decision making mindset to a co-dependent decision-making mindset. To the intending-to-marry couples out there, once you get married you should not make any decisions without your spouse’s buy in. While this might seem trivial to some, as a coach who has worked with married couples I’ll show you how failure to do this can be devastating to a marriage.

I once worked with an older couple that had spent their entire married lives making independent decisions. They finally decided that it was time to make a change to their ailing relationship, but were really finding it hard to let go of the past and focus on the present.

The problem was they couldn’t figure out how to handle the past independent decisions they had both taken.

The real problem was they struggled with resentment.

Resentment they had towards each other because of those past decisions. I’m not talking about some temporary resentment. I mean the more permanent kind. The kind you have when your spouse makes an independent decision and expects you to live with it.

Like coming home to find out they just bought a new car even though money is “tight”. A day after you were told you that you guys could not afford to replace the furniture in the children’s room. Everyday you see that car, you are reminded that you were not important enough to be a part of the purchase decision.  Resentment builds!

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a push to agree with everything your spouse wants to do. Using the same example where one of you buys a car without telling the other; If they told you ahead of time that they wanted to make such a purchase and you gave reasons why you didn’t think it was a good idea, they’d probably be the one resenting you right?

But the good thing about this sort of resentment is; it is typically temporary, meaning they’ll get over it eventually, especially if the both of you arrived at a middle ground together. A good compromise would be for them to get a newer model of the car in a year when you guys are more financially stable, then paint a picture of how they’ll score a ton of cool points with the kids for getting such beautiful, comfy furniture. That’s definitely something that would sway their stance. 😀

But all kidding aside, the point I’m trying to make is that if you live independent lives where one person makes independent decisions on key issues, when resentment creeps into the relationship it is typically permanent. However, if you live an integrated life where you make decisions together, even if resentment creeps in when one party feels they did not fully get their way, then it is more of a temporary resentment because you made the decision together and attempted to work towards a middle ground that both of you are happy with.

Side note to men – Do you know that your wife is constantly arguing with you probably because you make a lot of independent decisions? If you bring her into the decision making process it will reduce the amount of conflict in your home.

A woman in this situation typically goes through different phases. She might start off complaining about not liking a specific decision you took on your own. If you do not stop she begins to see that as part of your character and this leads to her criticizing you, meaning you are going to get defensive and its downhill from there. And if you still do not change, she will probably continue to criticize you in everything, including things you are probably doing right.

I find that it is hard to restore a relationship when things get to this point. This is why I try to warn couples about this before they get married. At this stage, even if the man promises to change, his wife is unlikely to be able to stop her criticism.

Permanent resentment is one of the most dangerous things to let into your relationship. It closes off your ability to allow yourself to be loved by your spouse.

It makes it hard for people to trust their spouse enough to give them a chance and are suspicious about anything they do.

When resentment has crept into a relationship, the offending party might be saying “Hey, I’m sorry, please forgive me. Let me make it up to you.” But the resenting partner is saying “I’m not going to let you make it up to me!” There’s a part of us that finds it much easier to hold on to hurt, pain and misery than to let go and embrace repentance or change. So the resenting partner becomes quarrelsome to prevent their spouse from fixing the situation. In other words, they can’t win you back no matter what they try.

In summary, if you are about to get married or are newly married, please avoid these pitfalls by simply agreeing that you will make all major decisions together.

It will save you a lifetime of resentment!

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About ZeeZee

ZeeZee is a certified Relationship and Marriage Coach who believes her purpose in life is to equip couples with the right tools for a successful relationship. Through her website and YouTube channel she shares practical tips and principles that help couples understand the inner workings of a healthy marriage.