Why Letting Your Partner Make All The Decisions Can Be Bad For Your Marriage

If you or your partner makes more decisions it could be bad for your marriage.

Social worker and couples counselor Rich Heller says many day-to-day decisions are about details, so it’s not necessarily unhealthy if the big-picture partner doesn’t participate as much in the smaller decisions. And in many long-term relationships, couples have learned to pick their battles, so it’s not unusual for them to be more on the same page in terms of vision and goals for the family. He explains, “If one partner bows out because they would have made most of the same decisions, and they’re saving their veto power for when it really counts, [it can be] more about giving your voice more power when you choose to exercise it.”

Marriage and family therapist Dave Grammer says things get less healthy when “leadership” in a relationship veers towards “control.” He explains, “The need for control tends to come from fear, or anxiety to some degree. In controlling relationships, the controlling partner is usually insecure. If someone is feeling powerless, one of the simplest ways to feel powerful is to exert power over others.”

If decisions in a relationship are being made regardless of whether one partner is happy about them, then it’s a red flag showing a greater need for collaboration. To ensure a health power dynamic the experts say: 1) work with each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and be sure to check in regularly with each other to make sure decisions are being made based on your shared vision and values and 2) keep communication about decisions fluid and flexible (make sure you both feel heard).