Having Trouble with the
Policy of Joint Agreement?

Letter #3

Dear Dr. Harley,

The Policy of Joint Agreement is a puzzle to me. It occurs to me that, when it is first implemented, no progress is possible. In attempting to get enthusiastic agreement, paralysis is likely.

Are we talking about things that are as mundane as a trip to the store? If one is less than enthusiastic, we just don't go? Am I being too dense?


Dear S.A.,

The reason I insist on enthusiasm is to make sure that the self-centered Takers (see "The Giver and Taker") in each spouse are willing participants in each decision they make. I want people to stop making either sacrificial or self-centered living a habit, and in its place develop a life-style of win-win decisions.

Granted, paralysis may occur at first, especially if both spouses are not used to giving each other their enthusiastic agreement about decisions. But once you get the hang of it, it goes much easier.

So you be the judge. If your trip to the store is something that would in any way be a problem for your wife, you shouldn't go until you have resolved the issue. Then whenever you go, she would wave good-bye with a smile on her face.

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