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The Prosecution Rests

Arguing is a great skill to have… if you’re a lawyer.  I’m told that my Papa (grandpa on Mom’s side) was on track to become a lawyer until he met Grandma, fell in love, and went the family route.  I bet Papa could argue a pretty strong case .  When he was passionate about something he spoke so strongly and with so much conviction about it.  Some of those arguing abilities might have made it down to me.  I was on track to become President before I met Shawna, fell in love, and chose the family route.  President of what, I don’t know.  But I’m sure it would have been something amazing.

The difference between arguments in marriage and arguments in court is there is no jury or judge, so you’re like a defendant making your case to the plaintiff and hoping they change their mind about wanting to throw you in jail.  You’ve already lost before you began because if they were going to agree with you there wouldn’t be anything to argue.  So emotions escalate along with vocal volume and tears until one or both of you are hurt and angry.

So what can you do to resolve money related conflicts (or any conflict in marriage for that matter)?

Listen

Shut mouth and open ears.  Even the best defense lawyers have to listen to opposing statements in order to understand where the opposing counsel is going with the case.  Too often when conflict arises we jump to defense mode thinking that our spouse is now the opposing counsel and we have to strengthen our case to defeat them.  How about this idea – our spouse is not the enemy.  They are our partner – on the same team.  They are guilty as charged of whatever point of view they have that is in opposition to our own.  Now we have to find a way to work with it.

Work Towards Compromise

When we accept that we’re on the same team with no case to win the only option is to accept a plea bargain – together.  The plea bargain must be something that benefits both spouses.  One spouse wants to save for X while the other wants to spend on Y & Z.  Why can’t you do both?  Usually we think we can’t do both because we’re impatient and working towards both goals at the same time will take longer.  Why isn’t that ok?

I’d rather accept a plea bargain with my spouse any day than end up on opposite sides of the courtroom against my spouse – fighting a real legal battle that in the end no one comes out a winner.  How about you?

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