Making Tough Choices Hard Decisions Making Tough Choices romantipedia guides emotional conflicts guides communication guides

As partners, we frequently run up against tough choices that must be resolved together. This isn’t easy to do with two separate viewpoints, but there are good ways to minimize conflict and come to mutually satisfying decisions.  When it’s the two of you working together it’s an opportunity to strengthen your bond. Honor your differences and uniquenesses with each of the decisions you make together with these 10 tips for making tough decisions and hard choices as a couple.


1. Honest conversation

Making tough choices requires genuine honesty. Does your relationship allow for it? Are you being completely honest with your partner? Does your partner feel they can be completely honest with you?  It is important to take responsibility for and share your needs and wants as well as your viewpoint respectfully. Your opinion will come out one way or the other, so be open from the beginning in a calm and straight forward way. Honor your differences and uniquenesses with each of the decisions you make together.

2. Remove emotion

Pretend you’re advising a friend. Often decisions come to a standstill when the argument becomes overly emotional, if there is value judging about who’s right, who’s wrong, good or bad. If you feel the conversation is going there, take a break and cool off. Rethink your point of view and come to the table with a calmer attitude so that making tough choices starts right.

3. Listen with a hearing heart

Hear out the other person, even if it’s not something you want to hear. Maybe you aren’t happy about your mother in law moving in, but your wife likely has some legitimate reasons. Try to understand what is really bothering your mate. Listen to what is said and not said, because making tough choices requires everything you can give it.

4. Bend

Practice flexibility in order to grow together in your joint decisions. Creating a win-win compromise is often the best way to make you both happy. Be flexible. Make conflict resolution the top priority instead of winning or needing to be right.

5. Together

Instead of coming from separate sides, come together with a pros and cons list. Create a list of initial ideas and solutions. Explore underlying concerns.then, respond to those concerns with the goal being to build a comprehensive solution. Is it time to sell the house? Have another baby? Only walking through this together will yield a result to make you both happy because making tough choices requires you to work together.

6. State of mind

When you’re working though making tough choices, make sure you’re rested, calm and sober. If you aren’t in the right frame of mind, the conversation could turn ugly. Quickly. Everyone needs to feel supported, nurtured and understood.

7. You’re on the same side

Remember that you’re on the same team, you aren’t enemies, and the conversation is not about winning or losing. Work toward resolution. Stay motivated until the conflict is resolved. Respect your differences and work together to find a decision that works best.

8. Consider all sides

Complex problems often have a lot of variables and nuance which affects everything involved with making tough choices. List your assumptions. Reverse these and think of it’s opposite. Consider how to accomplish these. Consider the consequences by imagining the long term affects of making a decision; do you feel good about it or stressed? When thinking through the decision, be sure to look at it from every angle before coming to a decision. Seeing the answer you want through your own lens won’t lead you down a good path.

9. Take your time

Big decisions take a lot of thought and consideration. If you rush it, you may not be happy with the outcome.

10. Be okay with the outcome

Understand that things may not turn out like you plan, but it’s okay. Just because a decision is difficult, doesn’t mean that it was important. Don’t blame yourself or your partner if it doesn’t turn out.


  • Time, patience and a willingness to work together in a respectful, positive way. A sense of humor can help deflect and reduce tension, reframe problems and put the situation into perspective. Minimize the degree of conflict. Come to mutually satisfying decisions.


  • When you handle conflicts in a positive, respectful way it provides an opportunity to strengthen your bond. Many making tough choices will come up when you’re together for a long time. The more of them you work through together, the easier they will become to resolve.

By Twoology

Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)

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