In today’s episode, we’ll be addressing the common question, “If you are both leaders in your marriage, how do you make difficult decisions?” We will share a few examples from our lives describing how we’ve tackled tough decisions as Egalitarians. And finally, we’ll share a contrasting example of how we previously made a decision with a Complementarian mindset.
004: Decision Making in an Egalitarian Marriage
Truly Equal is a marriage podcast created by Kyle and Christi Playford. Our goal is to talk about marriage from a fresh perspective. We tell stories about our lives, talk about how marriage is like a love song, and give practical solutions to the problems we've encountered.
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Making Difficult Decisions in an Egalitarian Marriage
Since our marriage doesn't function with one person carrying the ultimate veto card, a common question that arises is, "How do you make difficult decisions in your marriage?" Our hope is that the following three examples from our marriage, help answer this question in a practical way.
- Tough Decision #1: Moving from Ohio to Minnesota
We moved from Ohio to Minnesota at the end of August 2017, but we began talking about moving during the summer of 2016. We both knew we didn't want to stay in Ohio for the rest of our lives, so at first the decision to move to Minnesota was pretty easy for us. But then—four months out from our move—I was offered an opportunity at my graphic design job to start working full time and add videographer to my job description. It was my dream career job. All of the things I love to do, combined into one job. So even though we had already decided to move to Minnesota, Kyle and I took the opportunity seriously and discussed it at length. We talked about the pros and cons, we prayed together, and in the end Kyle said that the decision was my call and that he was okay either way. Even though this opportunity was my dream career job, I had another dream brewing inside of me to become an author. So after much agonizing thought, I decided to pursue my writing dream and continue with our plan to move to Minnesota.
- Tough Decision #2: Buying a Car
When we first got married, we only had one car. So when I landed my part-time graphic design job, we both agreed that we needed another car. The next step was to nail down the specifics. We took our time, and talked about it a lot together. We eventually decided we wanted to buy a used car within a certain price range, and started talking to someone at a dealership. The morning before Thanksgiving, a car was traded into the dealership that hit all of our qualifications except for the price point (it was slightly over what we had originally wanted to spend). We came in to look at the car Wednesday evening and had to decide that night whether or not we wanted to purchase it. The dealership was having their Black Friday sale that week (which we couldn't come to since we both had to work), and our salesman pretty much guaranteed that if we didn't buy the car that night it would be sold by Friday evening. Normally we don't like to make snap decisions, but this time we had to. Since Kyle has more knowledge about used cars than I do, I told him that he should make the final decision. I trusted his judgement more than my own. So after much debate, Kyle decided that we should buy the car that night.
- Tough Decision #3: Jobs and Careers
After we moved to Minnesota, I wanted to pursue writing full-time. However, we didn't know if that would be feasible for us at the time. I was doing some freelance work for my old job in Ohio, but we wondered if I should also get another part-time job to provide a more consistent secondary income. We talked about it together, and we both decided that I should focus on my novel right now as long as we could survive on Kyle's salary. We also said that we'd talk about it again in six months and see what we thought at that time. In this decision, keeping a line of communication open was important for us.
A Contrasting Example
When we were engaged and still dating long distance, Kyle and I started discussing where we would live after we got married. I wanted him to move to Minnesota, and he wanted me to move to Ohio. Since I still believed in Complementarianism at the time, I thought that Kyle was my spiritual leader. I believed that he had to make the final decision on the matter. I told him a couple times that I wanted him to move to Minnesota, but he kept responding that he wanted me to move to Ohio. So I prayed about it and thought that God wanted me to move to Ohio because that's what Kyle wanted. It was a really difficult move for me. I tried to move to Ohio without any bitterness in my heart, but I wasn't very successful in that. I had to give up living close to my family, my wonderful church, my community, and a job I loved. In hindsight, we are both glad we spend the first two years of our marriage in Ohio, but we wish we would have communicated better about the decision we made. We're not saying our final decision was bad, we just think the way we communicated about it wasn't great.
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