Respecting One Another’s Preferences 

Sometimes each person in a relationship tries to show why their preferences are superior. They may discuss how morally their choices are better. It’s important to respect one another’s preferences without determining that one is more superior to the other.

Look at some of the differences between your preferences and your spouse’s preferences. How do you like to spend your time? How do you like to spend your money? How do you discipline the children? How do you treat other people? Do you feel like your behaviors and preferences are morally better than your spouse’s?

Holly preferred to spend the weekends playing with the children. She wanted their weekends to revolve around their activities and having fun as a family. Her husband James wanted to work on weekend projects around the house. Holly tried to convince James that spending time together as a family was the best thing to do and that her choices to play with the children were superior to his choices. James valued hard work and told Holly that fixing up the house would be improving their investment, which was better in the long run for their family. He felt that working hard was superior to playing.

People can have different values and different preferences in life without one being better than the other. Instead, they are just different. This can be seen in how a couple saves or spends money. One person may value keeping a large bank account while the other person values being generous and giving money away. There are pros and cons to each approach but neither one is morally superior to the other. Although when people argue about money, it is usually because each person feels their approach is “better.”

Take a look at some of the arguments you have with your spouse. How many of them are because you think your preferences are morally superior? Try to work on being more respectful of your partner’s values and choices.



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