Relationships & Handling Belief-System Clashes

Justin and I have been together for a very, very long time, but when we first started dating our belief systems really clashed. There were many tear filled nights when I was absolutely certain that our relationship simply would not work due to our conflicting beliefs. What we had to decide was how important those beliefs were to us as individuals. Could we deal with the fact that sometimes our significant other would disagree with us?

Of course, that state of mind spilled over into other areas of our lives as well. All of a sudden, it wasn't just a question of which dress I liked the best, but it was a question of…

1. How much did I like it? How much did he hate it?
2. Was it worth it's cost? In my opinion? In his?
3. Could we afford it? How much would it affect our finances?
4. Could I buy it, take it home, try it for a week, and return it if I changed my mind?
5. If I decided to hold off on purchasing for a day or two, did I still want it when I returned to the store? Did he?

And so every decision thereafter has been made in a similar matter (though the questions may be slightly altered to fit the decision we are trying to make).

We use this system with finances, feelings on religion, whether or not we could or should go on vacation, how we should spend our weekend, and more. Sometimes the answers to our questions results in a change of mind, and sometimes they don't. Justin and I frequently choose to "pick our battles", decide who cares the most and go with that person's decision. We have found that, in marriage, our decisions not only affect us as individuals but also us as a couple, so it is very important to include both of our insights into the decision making process. Our questions allow us to really consider our options and the other person's opinion before jumping in full force with a decision we might regret later.

I think in essence, we have found through problem-solving in such a way that we trust one another's opinions more and find ourselves happier with the outcome of these thought-through decisions moreso than if we had just gone with our gut and not talked about the decision prior to making it.

Now that you know how we respond when approached with problems, I'd love to know how you conquer belief-system clashes with others? Is there a time you can think of when our approach would not work?

**This post is part of The Daily October Challenge. Visit 
Secret Obsession's blog to find out more and join in! :)

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