One of my favorite things to do when I'm not at work, in school or blogging is read articles and books about marriage. A favorite that I came across recently is Overcoming Those Differences of Opinion. I've learned something new each time I read it. I also really loved this article about why you don't want your marriage to be conflict-free. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, mostly due to different opinions, so how do you deal with it?
Joe and I agree or are able to come to an agreement on most of the things that we talk about, but we still disagree on some sort of topic at least once a day. We both came from different families, we grew up differently, and we have different views on how the world works. I love it that way because our marriage would be a little boring if we agreed on every little thing but I also want to make sure that our disagreements don't stall the progress that we make in our relationship or hinder our ability to grow as a couple!
Our current debate has been whether we want a diaper bag or a diaper backpack. We registered for both and have jokingly said that whichever one someone gets us is the one we'll have and the person who wanted that one wins the argument of which one is better. We've also been letting our families know which side we're on and why they should vote for our style of diaper bag. I'm sure people think we're crazy, but the little times that we don't agree on trivial things like this, we have a lot of fun battling it out.
We of course have our more serious disagreements as well, the kind that aren't lighthearted and fun to joke around about. Even after four years of being together, we still don't always see eye to eye on where things should be kept in the house, the way chores should be done, what things are more of a priority to budget for, some of the ways we want to parent our child, etc. We have endless discussions about a variety of topics and we both try our hardest to get the other to make sure our opinions are heard. Joe and I are both stubborn, so coming to an agreement is sometimes difficult.
There have been times when I realize that I'm being unreasonable and selfish and standing firm on an issue that really doesn't matter and is not as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be. Just last week I shared a glimpse into one of my selfish moments, and a week later, I had to admit that I was not only selfish and overly dramatic (can I blame pregnancy hormones?? probably not..) but that Joe's way actually worked out better in the long run. Having to say, "You were right husband" is always humbling and not my favorite thing to do, but I'm trying to be better about compromising and not putting a lot of effort into arguing about something that isn't going to be a huge issue if my way isn't the one that gets picked because I value our relationship and some things just aren't worth fighting over.
When Joe wanted to start using the envelope system a year and a half ago, I really didn't want to even try, but I told him that I'd test it out for a month or two if he'd write a post on the blog about it. We made a deal and two months later I loved the envelope system and had an awesome post for the blog. It was a win-win for both of us. During our home renovations, we've made quite a few compromises with each other and I can honestly say that our house looks better because of it. Compromising with Joe is something that I want to be better about because I know that it will lead to less heated arguments between the two of us and our relationship will be better!