If you’re in charge of the majority of the decision making in your household, you might make important choices without realizing you didn’t actually talk things over with your partner. However, major decisions, like future house plans, large purchases, monthly budgets, etc., need to be discussed on a regular basis. Here’s why.
It Proves You Value Your Partner’s Opinion
Everyone wants to feel like their opinion matters, especially to their partner. So even if you normally have the final say in things, it’s important to run your plans by your partner to see how she or he feels about it. After all, when you make big decisions, there’s a good chance the decision you make impacts your partner’s life too.
When preparing to discuss something important with your partner, it shouldn’t come out of the blue. Think about how you would prepare for your first relationship talk with a new partner. You would ask questions and listen to the answer to see if the relationship is a good fit. Use the same process when discussing important topics with your long-term partner too. Before you sit down to talk, make a list of the pertinent questions and the reasons you’re for or against the topic at hand.
It Helps Prevent Future Arguments
When you make an important decision on your own, you’re opening the door for the possibility of an argument in the future. If you make a big decision that your partner doesn’t agree with, he or she may get angry. Even if an argument doesn’t happen right away, there’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with your partner’s feelings in the near future.
If you want to avoid arguments, make it a household rule to discuss any major decisions — and you might be surprised to discover it’s not that hard to make decisions as a couple. You can get specific on this by discussing the type of decisions you both deem important. It’s also a good idea to set a solo spending limit. For example, you might agree that any purchase over $100 requires a discussion first. This way it’s easier to stick to your budget and meet your financial goals as a couple.
Some decision types that might require you and your partner to make together include:
- Where you live
- How many children you want to have
- Who will stay at home and/or work when the children are little
- Parenting styles
- Household chores
- Decisions regarding any crisis that come up
- When and where to vacation
- Plans for your retirement
- Your monthly budget
- Financial goals
- Large purchases
Sometimes You Need an Outside Perspective
When you have your mind set on something, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. You might inadvertently talk yourself into making a decision that really isn’t the best for you and your family. Fortunately, discussing your options with your partner may open your eyes a bit.
However, it’s also important to know when you should factor your partner into your decisions. If you haven’t outlined a set of rules already, you should discuss major decisions with your partner if:
- You live together
- You expect to include him or her in the next chapter of your life
- You know you would give up an important opportunity for your partner
- You would want your partner to ask your opinion on the topic if the roles were reversed
Ultimately, when you’re making life-changing decisions, it’s probably a good idea to bring your partner into the equation. Listen to what he or she has to say before finalizing your decision and whenever needed, compromise so you both feel like you’re continually moving in the right direction.