Originally Posted by markos
I'm by no means an expert, but I have the feeling that when you really follow the
guidelines for negotiation that the potential is there that one side's requirements may change. You start out thinking you HAVE to have Chinese food. You discover instead that you are quite happy receiving spectacular emotional bonding over Italian, and you only want Chinese food with coworkers once every couple of months. One of the steps in negotiation is identifying the problem from both perspectives. When you discover that your spouse can't meet your "minimum requirements," they may change.

*sob* You have done your homework, markos! This is very true. Couples who are not in the habit of using POJA tend to view everything in black and white. But the more accustomed you become to POJA, the less black and white they are:

At first, it may be very difficult to follow this policy, because you are in the habit of doing so many incompatible things. But if you follow it at all costs for a few weeks, you will find it easier and easier. You will also come to grips with the temptation of trying to gain at each other's expense. When one of you feels that it's okay to go ahead with plans even if the other person objects, you are simply saying, "I don't really care how you feel, I'm going to do it anyway because I'm willing to gain at your expense."


What you are proposing is a situation where the first objective is achieved, but the second one isn't. You have eliminated incompatible behavior, but have failed to create a compatible replacement.

You've noticed that in your own experience, you have not found such an example. That is the experience of most people who have learned to follow the policy correctly. As it turns out, when couples are incompatible and have not been following the Policy of Joint Agreement, almost everything is "black and white." Decisions are often intentionally made to punish the other spouse for the last insensitive decision.

But when a couple learns how to negotiate in good faith, these areas of black and white fade into shades of grey. Spouses learn to respect their conflicting point of view, but also learn how to persuade each other without recrimination. They see each other's perspectives in a new and compelling light.
Having Trouble with the
Policy of Joint Agreement?

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101