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Yes, DOUBLE MY GIFT to help families!

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Head Games

By Jim Daly
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Guys, we can resolve disagreements a lot more quickly, and with better results, if we see our wives not as opponents to be outplayed, but as teammates. Let's be men who can disagree, discuss — and then move on.

I should have known better. But honestly, it sounded pretty reasonable at the time, mostly because this friend usually offered sound advice. I was working through a disagreement with my wife, Jean , and though I didn’t want to seem heavy-handed, I was hoping Jean would do things my way. I won’t go into the details other than to say it involved a purchase for our sons and an already stressed budget.

When I mentioned the issue to a friend, he suggested I say, “It’s your decision, but I wouldn’t do it if I were you.” His view: This simple sentence would let my wife know exactly how I thought she should proceed, but make it look as if I was leaving the ball in her court. “If you put it that way,” my friend said, “she’ll agree with you. Just watch.”

Different interpretations

So I tried his approach the next time the subject came up. The outcome? Two different interpretations of one conversation. I suppose I should have seen it coming.

What I mostly intended to say: “I wouldn’t do it.”

What Jean mostly heard: “It’s your decision.”

So, the item arrived, and I was left to frown over the numbers on the receipt and wonder why we play these little head games with our spouses. Yes, disagreements happen. Even verbal fights happen. It’s all part of marriage. But why had I felt the need to try to, well . . . trick the woman I love to win this particular disagreement?

Teammates, not opponents

I wonder how often I cross the line in our disagreements, crafting tight arguments and adapting language that is less persuasion than manipulation. If I’m trying to control my wife, I’m not encouraging trust and vulnerability. If my marriage is really going to grow — and if I truly value my wife’s opinions — these little, strategic tricks and verbal tactics must be off the table.

Guys, we can resolve disagreements a lot more quickly, and with better results, if we see our wives not as opponents to be outplayed, but as teammates. Let’s be men who can disagree, discuss — and then move on.

Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of the Focus on the Family broadcast. Read his blog today.

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Copyright © 2013 by Focus on the Family.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

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There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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About the Author

Jim Daly

Jim Daly is an author and broadcaster, president of Focus on the Family and host of its daily radio broadcast, which is heard by more than 6.6 million listeners a week and has been honored as Program of the Year by the National Religious Broadcasters. Under his leadership, the ministry has reinvigorated its traditional focus on helping couples build strong …

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