Using decision-making models with couples facing major life decisions


Many couples live together succesfully for years making hundreds of routine decisions, even big ones, successfully together. But sometimes a more complex decision set enters the picture, and then the work of balancing all that's at stake can challenge even a strong love relationship.

        "Choice theory" has proven that different kinds of decisions require different approaches, and has developed a number of systmatic models suitable to the many types of decisions couples face. Couples unable to settle easily on where to move, whether to rent or buy a home, whether to have kids, whether to go into business together, or other similar types of decisions usually enjoy informed counseling that helps them explore the "decision field." They learn to dentify what kinds of decision-making tools might be most relevant and helpful, and then to make trustworthy decisions they can build on.

        Some couples face qualitaitive decisions, such as when marrying across religious, cultural or ethnic boundaries, or when planning marriage where one or both partners live with significant disability. Values clarification and a systematic exploration of differences in beliefs about simple things like time, space, what is natural, and the proper roles of authority and leadership can provide a firm foundaation on which to help the relationship grow and strengthen.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Bet MacArthur

Life CoachBet MacArthur MSW LICSW Founder and Clinical Director Arena Group
Location: Cambridge, MA
Credentials: ACSW, BCD, LICSW, MSW
Specialties: Empowering Women, Life Management, Parenting
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