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You Don’t Marry a Man; You Marry a Lifestyle

You Don’t Marry a Man; You Marry a Lifestyle

Marriage is often portrayed as the joining of two people who love and care for one another. You probably grew up being told by family and well-meaning older friends to find someone who makes you happy and who shares your interests. This is sound advice, but how many of us really acknowledge that how you live the rest of your life may hinge on the sort of person you marry? It’s important to think not only about how someone makes you feel, but the kind of life the two of you will share.

What exactly do you need to consider before agreeing to walk down the aisle? Perhaps the two key considerations are where the two of you will live and whether you will have children. If you want to live in an urban area for most of your working life but your fiancé yearns to live in the countryside, you may have to accept that you want to lead opposing lifestyles. This will require that one or both parties compromise if the relationship is to survive. You should also think carefully about how many children you wish to have, because this will affect the kind of place in which you will live, the amount of disposable income you will have, and the degree of personal freedom you will enjoy. For the sake of any children you may have, you both need to commit fully to the idea of being a parent if you wish to start a family.

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Financial matters are another area in which it is vital to clarify before getting married. Check that your attitudes towards spending, saving, and debt management are compatible. If one of you has a “live for the moment” attitude but the other is an ardent saver, this could cause friction in your relationship. You also need to decide on whether you wish to own or rent your home, as this will affect your financial future. For example, if one person wants to buy a house and get a mortgage as soon as possible but the other wants the flexibility of renting, some kind of agreement or compromise is warranted. You should also think about everyday money management. For instance, will you have a joint account or combine finances?

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Day-to-day practicalities also need to be addressed. For example, who is going to be responsible for the cooking, cleaning, and general upkeep of the home? If the two of you want to have children, who will be their primary caregiver? You should also think about how you will handle your leisure time, and how often you expect to spend an evening or weekend with your spouse. Make sure that your leisure preferences are such that you can look forward to building a mutually enjoyable lifestyle. If you like to spend your weekends on short trips but your fiancé much prefers to pass the time at home, consider whether you are content to go by yourself. Some couples are happy to spend a significant amount of time apart pursuing their own hobbies and interests, but if you are the kind of person who likes to share as many experiences as possible with your significant other, the marriage and lifestyle on offer may not be right for you.

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Remember that marriage is not simply a case of picking someone who seems like a good fit and then hoping love will smooth over any cracks. Take a long, hard look at the ways in which marriage to this particular individual are likely to impact you in the future. Taking time to get a realistic picture of what you and your would-be spouse want for the future will allow you to determine whether the two of you are truly right for one another.

Adapted from Quora

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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