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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

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Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Age: 58
Gender: Male
Posts: 4
Location: Johannesburg

20 Feb 2013, 3:05 pm

My wife and I have been fortunate enough to be friends for many years before we got married. During this time, we had set as standard that we are different and unique in so many ways, and to respect and celebrate the differences. We also have a standard of not yelling, no name calling, and not to play the blaming game. We have both suffered enough at the hands and mouths of other people to know these are things best left for people you don't care for at all.

I do however struggle to understand how to come to terms with with I assume to be compulsive behaviour, in the sense of when we agree about something wholeheartedly, however, my wife immediately proceeds to do exactly the opposite. I have no urge to control her or her behaviour, or to change her in anyway. The agreements are usually about practical arrangements to keep dogs, children, our renters and ourselves safe, or to keep our lifes relatively fetter free.

What I find astounding is that she does not voice any objections about suggestions I make, or ideas I approach her with, and that she is in full agreement with decisions we make. I have learnt to let her know in time if I have anything similar to discuss, and I would jot down the main issues. I have alos learnt to allow the discussion to take place, and to let time pass between the discussion and the actual decision, to allow time to think about it.

I just can not get forward to reach a place where we can comfortably reach agreements which I can trust,, and it frustrates me tremendously. What helps me a lot is that I do not take it personally, because she is not malicious at all, and I have never experienced ill intentions with her behaviour. She is too sure inside herself, and although her behaviour seems to be very selfish, she hasn't got a selfish bone in her body.

Discussing it with her is like my chain being yanked, she understands fully, and I find myself back to square one. I know for a fact that this is not her intention, so I keep on trying different ways of reaching a place where we can reach agreements we can rely on. We don't bicker, so I let the ill results of the agreements gone wrong go, thinking that we will someday find a solution. Can anybody give advice on this?

I have also posted under love and dating.


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Joined: 4 Feb 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 375

22 Feb 2013, 11:37 am

I don't know much about love, dating, marriage, and the like, but I would still would like to say something here. Does your agreement with your wife mean that you two never argue at all? If so, that's a problem. Everybody is different, and you two are no exception. And because you are different, you are going to disagree on things. You two need to allow yourselves to disagree and talk about what you disagree on. Now, I'm not advocating that you should start yelling at each other and get involved in abusive behaviors, but a peaceful debate over a topic is a good thing. That way, you can come up with a solution you both will like.


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Joined: 5 May 2009
Age: 53
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,508
Location: x

22 Feb 2013, 12:43 pm

I am wondering why there aren't disagreements. Is your wife just agreeing to things in order to avoid the consequences of a disagreement? Sometimes I agree with the things my husband proposes and sometimes he agrees with the things I propose but sometimes one of us disagrees. In that case, we work towards some sort of compromise. It sounds like neither of you have practice in working out a compromise and instead she just agrees to whatever you propose and then just does whatever she was going to do anyway because neither of you know how to work out a compromise with each other.

It is good that you have a standard of no name calling, yelling or blaming. But it looks like you have not worked out an alternative way to handle disagreement. Instead it seems that if your wife disagrees with you about something, she won't voice the disagreement but instead will agree verbally and then just go about things her own way in order to avoid the furious fights you have authentically agreed to not have.

I have been married for >20 years and in this time my husband and I have worked out a system of sorts for compromise. Instead of each having a single propsal which we must convince the other is the correct way, we both come up with as many multiple proposals as we can (multiple ways to solve a problem or multiple ways of doing things) and then discuss the pros and cons of all the different ways. That avoids the angry fighting that can come from defending your one singular proposal.

What would happen if your wife did disagree with you? Would you muster all possible arguments to convince her why your way is right? If so, she may be "agreeing" (but not really) to avoid that and simply does whatever her plan was without actually discussing it with you. The multiple proposal method allows for discussion without the offense/defense dynamic that can lead to fights. It makes compromise easier.