Ask Dr. Tim: My husband and I have come to a standstill…

Ask Dr. Tim: My husband and I have come to a standstill…


Ain our relationship. We are looking forward to retirement in two years but are in conflict over the next place to live. He wants to travel around the world like two hippies from the 60’s and I want to find a small cottage on the coast. Every time we try to discuss this we end up in an argument. I have no idea how we can get unstuck.



Dear Shelly:

Frankly many people would find either idea to be quite wonderful…for them. What you may be dealing with is an issue of compromise. Compromise is about creating a win-win situation vs. a win-loose situation. In compromise perhaps a tactic you both may wish to use is first determine a “non-negotiable”. So if you each were going to accept the other person’s idea, is there any part of your desire that is non-negotiable? For example, if he were to consider moving into a small cottage on the coast, would his non-negotiable be that is could not be in New England. Could your compromise be that the cottage was located somewhere in Italy? The point being, what are we open to and what are we positively closed to? Identifying our non-negotiable often allows us to be more open to other broader thinking.

Keep in mind, it this particular situation it is important to honor each other’s dreams.

Dr. Tim

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