3 Keys to Decision-Making Without Resentment

We make decisions every day. In fact, research suggests we make about 35,000 choices each day as adults. That’s a lot! Decisions range from minuscule to significant. Some of these small decisions we make every few seconds are things such as taking a sip of coffee, responding to a text message, or even readjusting in our chair. More medium size decisions are things like what to have for dinner, plans for the weekend or even what color to repaint your living room – decisions we make that are fairly low risk and usually don’t require our finances to take a large hit. These medium decisions are where you may start seeking input or opinions from others. Oftentimes the first person on your list will be your spouse, especially if that decision, like the ones in our examples, impact them as well. They’ll eat the dinner you selected, likely enjoy the weekend plans with you, and of course, live in the repainted living room – hey, you may even make a decision that requires their help to execute it!

At the far end of the decision-size spectrum are the big decisions. These are the ones that are life-changing or at least feel significant because of the financial impact.

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What’s Wrong With Being Right

It feels good to be right about something, doesn’t it? Imagine you’re talking to a friend about a movie you saw recently, it has that one guy from that one show – what’s his name? You think it’s one person, but your friend is very sure it’s someone else. So you look it up… and ha! You were right! You feel a brief good-natured sense of satisfaction and share a laugh together.

If only issues in relationships were this easy to sort out. You could simply look up the answer and declare who is “right.” Your arguments would be solved.

Hold up. It isn’t that simple – and it shouldn’t be. Here are two things to focus on when you get caught up in winning the argument.

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I’m So Annoyed With My Spouse

We all get annoyed with our partner from time to time. It’s inevitable. Sometimes it’s the little day-to-day things – their habits, quirks, or moments of forgetfulness. The laundry that they’ve tossed on the floor, not filling up the car with gas despite there being only a smidge left, leaving the carton of milk out on the counter. Or maybe it’s the repetitive habits like cracking knuckles, smacking gum, or clicking of a pen when they’re making the grocery list or working on paying the bills.

Then there are the bigger things that usually don’t happen all that often, but that really annoy us to the point of questioning our partner’s intentions. Things like double-scheduling an event on a day they knew we had other plans, or not doing a task we specifically asked them to do. We wonder how they could be so inconsiderate, instead of seeing it as an innocent mistake.

Either way, we get annoyed. But what we do with that annoyed feeling, how we deal with it, makes all the difference in the impact on your relationship in the long term. Annoyance can go unaddressed and turn into frustration and resentment, or you can tackle it head on and resolve it before those insidious emotions take root.

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The “Boring” Skills that your Relationship Depends On

Assertiveness and active listening. Zzzzzzzzz.

We know. These words don’t exactly sound very exciting, which is unfortunate because they are so important! At Prepare/Enrich, we consider them foundational skills – what all other skills are built on. Without assertiveness and active listening, working through conflict becomes impossible, talking about money is an exercise in frustration, and growing as a couple is, frankly, unlikely.

Having trouble remembering what an assertive statement is or what active listening sounds like? Here’s a quick refresh:

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How to Fill Your Free Time (Without a Fight)

When the world slowed down for a few months, many of us got a taste of what it was like to have more free time, albeit free time stuck at home. We learned how to bake new treats (banana bread? sourdough?), organized every drawer and cabinet, and maybe even took on some home improvement projects. But by now, we’re all itching to do the things we postponed or longed for during our days at home. On top of that anticipation, it’s also summer, which usually brings long weekends, vacations, and lots of get-togethers. What were previously “normal” decisions might now be met with a new sense of unease or anxiousness about being with and around others. Combine these factors with the urge to make up for the adventures we would’ve had this spring, and you have a situation that could lead to some heated discussions with your partner about where and how you’ll spend your precious free time.

Suffice it to say, this summer brings some new challenges for your relationship.

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