Making decisions as a team sounds deceptively easy. After all, you’re a team, he’ll back you up no matter what decision you make, right? Uhm no. It’s nice to think that way but reality is entirely different. The decision you make today may bite you in the ass this evening when you spring it on your partner. So how do you make decisions without breaking apart?
The first thing to do is to decide what type of decisions can be made independently and which ones require a joint decision. Remember, decisions made independently may involve both partners and it can be awkward to back out of a decision once it’s already been given to a third party. Things that can be divvied up ahead of time:
- Dollar value – decisions under a specific dollar value can be made independently but decisions over that dollar value require a joint decision.
- Independently financed – decisions where one partner can finance it without impacting the finances of the other may not require a joint decision.
- Family events – can one person commit the couple to attending a family event or does it need to be discussed before giving an answer.
- Social calender – can one person commit the couple to a social event without consulting the other?
- Time commitments – can one person commit themselves to a recurring event before asking the other if it’s okay?
- Birth control/children – shouldn’t even be on this list, this should always be a joint decision.
For the decisions you’ve agreed must be made jointly, start discussing it well in advance. Do not attempt to surprise or strong-arm your partner into a decision. Most large decisions will require more than one trip to the negotiation table and don’t hesitate to ask for time to think over or research a major decision. It’s better if both team members are in complete agreement than to have one partner leading the charge and the other reluctantly pulling up the rear.