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Don't Trade Choices with your Spouse
by Reita Bayman

Trading choices is just another skirmish in the war of the sexes.

Unfortunately, it's usually the house that's the loser and ultimately the parties who do the trading wind up unhappy with the results.

The customary compromise of couples is "one choice for you, one choice for me." The better option is for both to compromise on a third choice that has good design and which supports the common goal.

Women need to have their men involved in discussions and decision-making. When it comes to things about the house, it's so important to her that they do this "together" that she will trade something she wants for something he wants even if she knows it isn't the right thing to do.

After it's done, it's almost always the man who realizes the choice was wrong and asks why they did this. She says "because you wanted it" and he says, "Why didn't you make me do the right thing?"

Instead of trading choices, look for the common ground and make the third choice. For example, he doesn't like curves, only straight lines and oak wood. She likes the country look - raw wood, dried flowers. You can imagine how difficult this makes picking out a chair!

After discussing each of their likes and dislikes, it turns out that what they have in common is texture. They both like softness. So we have them look at Ralph Lauren Shaker-type furniture and they are both happy.

He gets his straight lines, she gets the raw wood and softness. They each give up something and go to a third choice which satisfies what they really like.

Designing the interior of your home is no time to be trading choices. Your decisions could last a lifetime.


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