Catholic Husband

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The Art of Negotiation

One of the most critical skills you can develop in your marriage is the art of negotiation.

Marriage is all about compromise. Since you and your wife are two different people, you will have times where you completely disagree. However, more likely would be that you and your wife are similar viewpoints, so your disagreements may be over a minor part of something, as opposed to a major part or even the whole topic.

Any time you approach a major decision, enter into the negotiation process with a spirit of developing a win-win-win scenario.

It is a bad idea to try to rip your wife off. She’s not going anywhere. Ever.

It will take some time, but learn how she likes to negotiate. Understand how her thinking process works. It is probably not going to be your preferred method, but you have to gain her consensus, so deal with it.

When crafting a win-win-win, do the following.

1) Make sure that she is benefiting in some way from the conclusion

2) Make sure that you are benefiting in some way from the conclusion

3) Make sure that you both benefiting is not going to negatively effect your family

Impulse buys are where the win-win-win are critical.

Say you and your wife are at an electronics store and see a Wii. You can both find ways immediately as to how it will benefit both of you. If you were just gaining mutual consensus, you’d be done.

But wait. You are two days away from getting your electricity cut-off from non-payment. That Wii money could be used to get your bill back in balance.

In this case, the Wii doesn’t meet the third criteria, so you must pass on it.

Gaining mutual consensus ensures that the decision that you’re about to make is going to do something for you and your wife.

Adding the third win makes sure it doesn’t screw up your life.
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