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The Policy of Joint Agreement #115735
06/03/11 04:23 PM
06/03/11 04:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 932
Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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So I have been wanting to start a thread exploring the ins and outs of the Policy of Joint Agreement for a while now (as defined in the Marriage Builders Program)

The basic premise is: Never do anything without the enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse.

A couple of basic things I've come to understand about this is that

1 - it is actually very difficult to do, and is made even harder when the relationship is in a rocky place.

2 - requires trust and honesty from both parties and a commitment from both parties to maintain an emotionally/physically safe atmosphere in which to negotiate.

To avoid thread/jacking another thread where this conversation started, I'm copying some of the original posts here:

Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
I think there is a difference between thinking and doing, between opinion and action. Much like you can validate without agreeing.

I don't have to share my husband's opinions or thoughts. The fact that they aren't the same doesn't make mine or his invalid.

However, I don't believe I should do anything that he doesn't agree with or like.

Makes it harder when we have different opinions, but I think the Policy of Joint Agreement can flow naturally from the concept of validating.

If my husband's reality is as valid as mine, if his thoughts and feelings are valid, because I love him and want to love and care for him and live harmoniously with him, then I have no desire to make a decision or action that would fail to take into account his feelings and thoughts as much as my own.

I will always act in my self interest. Choices and decisions I make are based on my thoughts/ feelings/ perceptions.

I believe that if I were to violate POJA in my marriage, I would be basically sending the message to my husband that my thoughts/ feelings/ perceptions are more valid/important than his and thus more worthy of basing decisions on.

I don't have to agree with his thoughts/ feelings, but they have to be as relevant to decisions made within our marriage as my own, else we won't have a marriage of equals.

Makes it hard, but also makes it powerful. It conveys a powerful sense of love and deepens intimacy when I know that decisions are made for US that include both our thoughts and feelings.

I firmly believe that in a healthy marriage, there isn't anything that can't be POJAd satisfactorily. Our marriage is far from perfect but I have yet to find anything that we can't POJA over time. And often successful POJA requires a lot of personal introspection and examination of your own internal goals and boundaries.


Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
Vibrissa! (LadyGrey does happy dance!)

I agree with you in a sense, but I get caught up in the "enthusiastic" piece because mostly I sincerely DO NOT CARE what my husband does so long as he is happy and he CARES DEEPLY about what I do, every detail.

So if he is out in the yard messing around it never occurs to me to go see what he is doing - he's messing around.

If I'm out in the yard messing around, he comes out to make sure what I'm doing is OK - that he is in agreement that that flower should go in that place, that that dead branch should be pruned, etc., ad infinitum.

It's exhausting - do I really need to check with him under POJA before I clean up the dog poop in the yard? Because I don't do that right either - and who knew there was a way to do that wrong?

Pre- dates the affair for the record.


Will respond in subsequent post.

Last edited by Vibrissa; 06/03/11 04:25 PM.

Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #115739
06/03/11 04:34 PM
06/03/11 04:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,072
SW Chicago 'burbs
Mark1952 Offline
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Vibrissa,

I'm currently working on the topic as well in the construction zone but wanted to describe the 3 states of mind before hitting it directly.

Perhaps we could collaborate. Let me know...


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #115747
06/03/11 04:52 PM
06/03/11 04:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 932
Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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Vibrissa  Offline OP
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Quote:
Vibrissa! (LadyGrey does happy dance!)

I agree with you in a sense, but I get caught up in the "enthusiastic" piece because mostly I sincerely DO NOT CARE what my husband does so long as he is happy and he CARES DEEPLY about what I do, every detail.


/join happy dance....woo!

DH and I are like you and your H - only opposite. I care deeply about what he does, often down to the detail (outcome person that I am). DH doesn't care so much.

This was a road block early on for us when first implementing POJA. I would get frustrated because I couldn't seem to get 'enthusiasm' from him.

I think the key is the part that I bolded. You CAN be enthusiastic about something, not because you're enthusiastic about the actual thing, but how it makes him feel.

When we first started POJAing in earnest, I tried to get us to agree enthusiastically on a place to eat. It was so frustrating because his opinion always seemed to be "I don't care where we eat, you pick". Now I wasn't going to go anywhere without his enthusiastic agreement, so I refused to pick unilaterally... and we were stuck driving around town, starving, and getting irritated.

Until he said he just wanted to eat with me. He didn't care about the food - he was enthusiastic about eating, about spending time with me, about watching me enjoy what I ate since I'm the pickier eater. He was enthusiastic about all of that - the restaurant really didn't matter, so the POJA became obvious: I pick where we go and he's enthusiastic about just spending time with me.

And when he does get a hankering for a specific type of food/ restaurant, he knows he is safe in requesting that and he can get what he wants because it is so rare that he has a preference.

Quote:
So if he is out in the yard messing around it never occurs to me to go see what he is doing - he's messing around.

If I'm out in the yard messing around, he comes out to make sure what I'm doing is OK - that he is in agreement that that flower should go in that place, that that dead branch should be pruned, etc., ad infinitum.


One of the worries I had early on is that I am often bugging my H. He doesn't really care how things get done, but I usually do, which means I sometimes can micromanage.

I was worried that our different approaches might lead to resentment; that he would start to resent me because I have to be involved and see it as not fair because he wasn't the same way and he tends to give me free reign when I start doing something.

Thankfully, he sees it as just the way I am, the way I deal with my reality and pretty much accepts it. However, he does tell me when I'm starting to frustrate him and I can back off.

Quote:
It's exhausting - do I really need to check with him under POJA before I clean up the dog poop in the yard? Because I don't do that right either - and who knew there was a way to do that wrong?


I've found a lot of little things don't need to be POJAd and when they do, they will present themselves. If the cleaning of the dog poop has never been an issue, then I don't think putting it on the negotiating table is worth the effort, to go review and decide to maintain the status quo.... However if one of you two has an issue with it THEN it can be negotiated in such a way that both your feelings on the issue are addressed.

We never had a problem in our old apartment with the way the trash was taken out. Never needed to negotiate it, the way we started doing it when first married worked just fine... until we moved. THEN we ran into some issues... and so THEN is when we discussed it and worked it out (it's a longish story and details are in my blog if you're really interested)

So, no, you don't have to double check EVERY single decision you have already made. If cleaning up the poop your way is working and he isn't complaining, then I'm sure it's fine. However if he develops a problem with it, THEN it can go on the table.

Sometimes I've had to make decisions on my own, couldn't get a hold of H, so I did my best to consider him, and we talked about it afterwards.

Also it's important to remember that POJA is for negotiating within the marriage, to ensure that no party gains at the expense of the other... but sometimes the hand life deals isn't going to make that easy. There are external factors as well.

Good example: DH and I have both been out of work for a while and have been desperately seeking employment where we live. We like it here, have bought a house here. Here is where we want to stay. Unfortunately, that isn't how things have worked out. DH has received a job offer in a city 5 hours away.

We have both applied for literally every job in our respective fields in the city in which we live, and have not found jobs.

He was initially very enthusiastic about moving - he really wants to work for this company and doesn't mind the city we'll be moving to. I've been pretty devastated... and have been having trouble finding my enthusiasm.

However, it isn't my husband forcing this choice on me... it's just life, the way things have worked out. We can't stay in a place there is no work, and we can't turn down an excellent job opportunity that will be able to completely support our family.

It's taken a while, but I've been able to come on board to the whole idea. POJAing other decisions like where we will live, me staying at home, etc... decisions within OUR control, has helped immensely.
_________________________

Last edited by Vibrissa; 06/03/11 04:53 PM.

Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Mark1952] #115748
06/03/11 04:54 PM
06/03/11 04:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 932
Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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Mark - had no idea! I'll hop over to the CZ and see if I can help in any way - though I'm sure you got it covered!

....*scoots to CZ*


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #115893
06/03/11 09:36 PM
06/03/11 09:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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SW Chicago 'burbs
Mark1952 Offline
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Working title is "The Road to Recovery" but I can probably change it to be more "generic" and less infidelity oriented before I'm done.

I'm working on the 3 states of mind right now in order to set up the reason for POJA. I have a chart I built (posted on another thread already) that was meant to relate Harley's 3 states of mind in marriage to Al's lizard brain at work.

If I get time to edit this weekend, maybe I can get something up, or you can built it and I'll try not to wreck it.

Just so little time at work and even less when I get home these days.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Mark1952] #115958
06/03/11 11:39 PM
06/03/11 11:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,657
L
LadyGrey Offline
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LadyGrey  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark
I have a chart I built (posted on another thread already


Where?

I'd really like to see that. I thought I had read everything you have posted!


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: LadyGrey] #115990
06/04/11 12:52 AM
06/04/11 12:52 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 932
Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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Vibrissa  Offline OP
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Mark - went lookin for it earlier but didn't find it... skimmed right over the Road to Recovery title... didn't think it'd be in there!

Totally get what you're saying about discussing the 3 states of marriage first. POJA can be such a beast starting out because it is so dependent on so many factors. I did see the graphic you put up a while back and think it is absolutely excellent!

If I can I'll get to writin stuff... technically I'm signed up to write like 3 more articles for the Emotional Needs Stuff, on top of proofing/ compiling the 2 I've got... ahh there's just never enough time.

I'll do mine, you do yours and we'll see what we come up with in the CZ grin

Gonna go find that graphic again.

Last edited by Vibrissa; 06/04/11 12:52 AM.

Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #116057
06/04/11 03:10 AM
06/04/11 03:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 932
Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Found it for ya LG

clicky


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #117260
06/07/11 01:51 AM
06/07/11 01:51 AM
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New Zealand
Lil Offline

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TJ

Mark, when you get it out of CZ and in a final resting place, please let me know for the content guide.

TIA

/TJ


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Lil] #250313
08/03/12 10:31 PM
08/03/12 10:31 PM
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Lil Offline

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BUMP


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Lil] #250316
08/03/12 10:40 PM
08/03/12 10:40 PM
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Lil Offline

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Originally Posted By: herfuturesbright
I have wondered about the oft-ignored blind spot of POJA as well. The mantra is, "do nothing until you reach enthusiastic agreement." If "do nothing" is what one spouse WANTS....then all they have to do is not be enthusiastic and viola!

Honestly, I think that people bring different strengths into a M. For example, organization and keeping up with things is not my strength. So instead of h and me poja'ing everything we should or shouldn't save, etc. it made more sense to just hand the tax tasks over to him because he knows how. I was the one who did the cooking, so it makes sense that unless someone had a dinner request or specific need, I needed to be the one in charge of the grocery shopping.

Regarding finances, I do see the need for agreement or at the very least communication. But I think we are living in a dream world if we think that "waiting for enthusiastic agreement" will always work for everything, especially if it is time sensitive.

I think knowledge is power. I remember how...completely flabbergasted I was when I took the time to investigate and realized that h had spent around 10,000 dollars on online games! OMG. I wish I had checked and questioned sooner.


I think people get too hung up on 'enthusiastic', myself.

Sometimes I dont actually care either way, or it is of no concern to me. I would say DH and I tend to get to a point where neither of us a bothered, and call it good.

Its like anything, when you start you have to take it slowly and work through it step by tiny step until you get to a point where no one feels like they are sacrificing - you are in agreement.

As time goes on, POJA gets faster and faster because you have an understanding of what 'enthusiastic' looks like in your spouse.

All POJA has the caveat that if the situation changes and resentment, or other negative feelings arise, then POJA can be re-negotiated.

We have some stuff pre-POJA'd, as in $$$ amounts we can spend without checking each other, some parenting stuff like DH does Math, and I do English, accepted domestic roles, etc


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Lil] #250318
08/03/12 11:05 PM
08/03/12 11:05 PM
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Additional thoughts DH and I have from reading over previous posts on this thread is:

Dont use POJA to control your spouse.

Micromanaging is control. Its also an annoying habit to your spouse, more likely than not.

Trying to force your spouse into 'enthusiasm' about something they were 'perfectly content with', is controlling

Refusing to reasonably engage in POJA, so the status quo rule applies, is a form of control as well.

Controlling takes away from the equal partnership, that your marriage should be.


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Lil] #250322
08/03/12 11:38 PM
08/03/12 11:38 PM
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Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
These are very good points, IMO. I think sometimes we like to make things hard. Sometimes I will have a conversation with someone in which everything is dissected and clarified, and I think...."Good Lord, this is exhausting." I think that natural, effective POJA is NOT exhausting, at least not usually.

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: herfuturesbright] #250336
08/04/12 03:26 AM
08/04/12 03:26 AM
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I think the only way POJA will work is in a sequence of agreed upon ground rules and a tremendous change of heart from individual and independent behavior to thinking and working together as a team.

With what is out there available today, I would only try to introduce POJA as a tool for marriage AFTER:

1. Joint reading of Anatomy of Peace, and Leadership and Self Deception, both produced by Arbinger Institute.

2. Get the personal agendas out in the open. No underhanded, passive/aggressive manipulation or otherwise trying to pull a fast one over on the other partner.

3. If you're truly ready to be married, in every sense of the word, you've got to do steps 1 and 2 first. At that point, you're wanting the best for each other and for the marriage, so POJA at that point becomes a choice about the greatest good. Which reminds me of another couple who had trouble with POJA (obviously it worked out, if you've seen the movie)



Consider that we don't have to live with the consequences of our advice in your life. Act according to what you can live with!
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Kayla] #250472
08/05/12 09:13 AM
08/05/12 09:13 AM
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Lil Offline

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Found another thread we have on POJA - HERE


AKA Lildoggie

Just found out about your spouses affair?
Infidelity Guide For The Betrayed Spouse


Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Lil] #250483
08/05/12 03:40 PM
08/05/12 03:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 932
Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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POJA has always been something that fascinates me. I agree that the 'enthusiasm' part was a hang-up early on. I'd constantly push and push DH for 'enthusiasm' and refuse to do anything until I saw 'enthusiasm' which resulted in frustration on his part and impatience on mine.... because DH just doesn't really CARE about a lot of things.

He's like his dad: content to let me make most decisions because they don't matter so much, but fully capable of speaking up when it DOES matter. So POJAs are usually quick.

When an actual discussion is needed - the key (for us) is neither of us go into it with the idea of 'this is the RIGHT way to solve the problem'. There are solutions we both like, obviously, but we've gotten pretty good at identifying WHY we like those solutions - which is key to identifying in full extent, the PROBLEM.

But neither of us are wedded to our idea of a 'right' solution, so it's easier to find the solution that works, not based on my idea of right or his idea of right, but that works for US as a family.

Example: Our second car just died. We need to find some second means of transportation because one car is very difficult for us. So we've had several negotiations on how to proceed. Since neither of us is invested in a particular idea we are neither trying to sway another as to the 'best' way to do this - so the conversations have all been 'safe' - they don't get heated.

So we spend a lot of time identifying what our thoughts and feelings are on the issue, what is important to us in solving the problem and go back and forth. It really is more a searching for what is best for all of us, which is nice. It feels like we're on the same team, vs. being against one another.

And we don't get sold on an idea. We thought we had the answer, but the situation changed, so we're re-evaluting. What was right a month ago isn't right now.


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
Ze Blog
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #250487
08/05/12 05:09 PM
08/05/12 05:09 PM
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FireAndIce Offline
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This is the topic that got me thumped in the head at the other place.


My thoughts about making decisions in the marriage?

1. If this is a huge deal, and a huge decision, and the two of you are generally in agreement: sit down and talk about it. You are already generally "there" anyway. The details will work out, using the next few items.

2. If this is a huge deal and a huge decision and the two of you are NOT in agreement: sit down and talk about it. Figure out where you do agree. Itemize the areas that are not in agreement, and talk about the reasoning for the OTHER PERSON'S desires/opinion - and do it lovingly so that you show that you respect and understand why it is that they want what you do not. It is an eye-opening experience when you try to put into words what you think you know about what someone else is thinking. Your spouse will help you understand, and you will come to know - respectfully and lovingly - exactly what it is that he/she is thinking. In the process, you WILL change your mind about some of the items on the "disagree" list. Watch and see.

Then, let it rest. Time will make the decision gel, and you will find that some of the next points will help.

3. If the point of disagreement is not major, and one of you cares a great deal more about the outcome than the other, find out why there is so much importance. Chances are that the level of importance to that person should be the deciding factor, because there might be an impact that the spouse who "cares less" is not aware of.

4. If the point of disagreement is major to one, and not major to the other, we have always agreed that the one who CARES about it gets his/her way. Because if it doesn't really matter to me, and it matters to the other person, then it makes sense to defer. I really really really do not care what kind of lawn mower my husband buys. Do. Not. Care. Truthfully, he is exponentially happy that I don't care.

5. It can be the case that I do not "enthusiastically" agree to something. I am a grown-up, and there are plenty of things that don't meet the enthusiasm test for me. Seriously, I cannot get enthusiastic about lawn mowers, don't go out of my way to throw a party over a new kayak, and can't get my panties ruffly for hooking up the boat trailer. He doesn't get enthused about antiquing, checking out the local store for a new shipment of cowgirl boots, or looking in the neurology section of the university bookstore, either.

But we both do these things - with each other - and enjoy them, for the sheer pleasure of being with one another, sharing the enjoyment of our time together, the experiences and fun we have together, and telling the jokes about what happened later one. We support each other when things do not go well, because let's face it - who can "enthusiastically agree" to going and visiting your dying relative in the ICU, or going to a funeral of someone you were not great friends with but you love the family of, or going down to the neighbor's house in 100 degree weather to feed and take care of their dogs because the neighbor is too old to do it? Some things are NOT FUN. There will NOT be enthusiasm in all things. It isn't there.


If he were to wait for me to enthusiastically agree to cook a meal, do the laundry, or drive to work in the morning?


Well, that fiery place where the bad man lives would probably have a blizzard first.


Because trust me, "enthusiasm" ain't in there most of the time on those.



Yet, I do them.



Those are my thoughts. Maybe it's just me. Then again, I do not live in la-la-land. I have a tendency to live in the real world.


Some of you might have known me as Schoolbus.
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: FireAndIce] #250506
08/05/12 08:15 PM
08/05/12 08:15 PM
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Posts: 932
Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
Vibrissa Offline OP
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Texas - that narrows it a bit ...
F&I - I can't imagine how you would get 'thumped on the head' for that post. It's positively true and really all in the spirit of what I BELIEVE POJA is about: respect and understanding for your spouse.

It's like chores. I will never in 100 years be enthusiastic about doing dishes or folding laundry, DH will never be enthusiastic about mowing the lawn or fixing cars. It just isn't in the cards, it isn't going to happen. But we both agree that certain things MUST be done. Basically the person who hates is less does it more - but you ain't gonna get enthusiasm.

The point is - to not FORCE your views, or desires on your spouse, to respect their views, desires, beliefs and to TOGETHER make choices that reflect the values, desires and opinions of BOTH parties. Sometimes it is easier than others, but if negotiations are safe and open and conducted with the desire of: lets find the solution that works for us, as opposed to: How can I convince him to see it my way - you are more likely to find a solution that will INCREASE your love for one another, or at worst not DECREASE that love.

Because seriously - sometimes DH doesn't care where we eat, he just wants to go out and spend time together.... and like F&I - I don't care about a lawnmower.

I've found that I've gotten better over the years at distilling the heart of an issue for myself.

Quote:
ot. It is an eye-opening experience when you try to put into words what you think you know about what someone else is thinking.


I've also found it an eye-opening experience when I have to put into words what I think I know about myself and my opinions, in a loving and respectful way. Sometimes what I think is important to me - when I have to put it into words and frame it as an opinion (not a defense in an argument) - what I think I think isn't really what I think.

Like the lawnmower situation - when it came time for us to get a new lawnmower - it was easier to distill what I thought, it came down to one thing: I didn't want to spend more than X dollars on it.... DH just wanted a new lanwmower that worked... soooo he went and bought one under X dollars and happiness all around.

Seriously F&I there is nothing at all that violates the SPIRIT of the idea of POJA in what you wrote....

I like it.


Moi: 33
DH: Kenichi 33
M: 8/2005
DD 6 yrs
DS 3 yrs
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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #250511
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Thank you ladies, that explains how we POJA perfectly!

Originally Posted By: Fire
It can be the case that I do not "enthusiastically" agree to something. I am a grown-up, and there are plenty of things that don't meet the enthusiasm test for me. Seriously, I cannot get enthusiastic about lawn mowers, don't go out of my way to throw a party over a new kayak, and can't get my panties ruffly for hooking up the boat trailer. He doesn't get enthused about antiquing, checking out the local store for a new shipment of cowgirl boots, or looking in the neurology section of the university bookstore, either.


Exactly!DH LOVES all things electronic, he loves the ins and outs and the workings and circuit diagrammes. Me, I like that my cell phone works when I want it to. I'll go to the electronci store with him tho because he enjoys my company, and on occasion I do learn something laugh

I like browsing. Not buying, just looking and thinking and getting ideas. He goes into a shop to purchase. But he will wander around a dozen shops with me because he likes my company.

Originally Posted By: Vibs
But we both agree that certain things MUST be done. Basically the person who hates is less does it more - but you ain't gonna get enthusiasm.


And thats so true of a lot of life. I'm not enthusiastic about working for a living, but I have a POJA with my boss that I will do it, and he will pay me. neither of us enjoy doing it for the other but we do it. Its gotta get done

AND I am never going to get excited about chores.


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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Lil] #387756
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I have a very basic question about POJA.

It seems to me that the person who says no wins.

Let's say I want to buy my daughter snow tires for her car because she doesn't have the money, I am concerned about her safety and we can afford it.

My husband says no, that's a waste of money. We talk it out, and I still feel strongly that she should have the snow tires and he feels equally strongly that she doesn't need them.

So, under POJA, he wins.

That actually happened BTW. No win/win available, so we ended up with the familiar win/lose.

How is that an agreement?


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: LadyGrey] #387766
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Originally Posted By: LadyGrey
It seems to me that the person who says no wins.

The person doesn't have to say no. All they have to do is not reach an agreement that they are enthusiastic about and status quo remains.


Quote:
How is that an agreement?

It's not. And it can be difficult to tell whether someone is deliberately avoiding working toward an agreement that they could be enthusiastic about because they are more enthusiastic about keeping the status quo.

From what I've learned, some situations have more of that type of thing than others. In situations in which there is addiction or abuse or other things with a power/control aspect to it, POJA often enables the destructive behavior.

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: LivingWell] #387768
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This is exactly why I believe the POJA is bullcrap. Inaction wins every time. So that's not joint now is it? Bullcrap


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Miranda] #387772
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The idea is that once the folks stop doing the things they know bother the other, and start dating again as a way of life, that they'll fall back in love. And when two folks are happy in love they'll get really good at finding solutions they are both happy about. Like LG's example above, if her H thinks snow tires are unnecessary, but knows LG wants them for the daughter, he'd be happy getting them for DD anyway, because it's fun doting on someone you love.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: NewEveryDay] #387788
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POJA assumes good faith negotiation between two parties who decline to engage in power struggle. Which is why it is very difficult to make work. Because so often, somebody either isn't in good faith or can't let go of the power struggle.


Chrysalis
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Chrysalis] #387816
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I always loved the POJA... in theory. It works with my second husband but rarely did it work with my first husband (for the kinds of reasons LG mentioned.)

Like, when our children needed braces and their dad said no, he didn't get braces and they'll live without getting them, I just marched my kids to the orthodontist and got the darned things. No POJA, nor permission requested. Just did it. Felt good. LOL


A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short. --Andre Maurois

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: wiser_now] #387828
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POJA is a like a lovely fantasy. It sounds so good, and you might get a little taste of it working when it's a win-win situation (should we vacation in Hawaii or Bermuda). How often dies that even happen. In the times you need POJA the most it doesn't work.

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: peppermint] #387848
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The failure of POJA is because it isn't about agreement. It is about not doing anything without agreement.

The point is not to agree to do something one of you has no intention of doing, it is supposed to prevent you from doing things your spouse doesn't want to happen.

Most situations where it is considered a failure have to do with a power struggle with no possibility of resolution with either position prevailing. We both know that we are right. A or B, with no other possible outcome. But the majority of conflicts don't actually have only two possible outcomes. Where the failure happens is in deciding a winner and a loser without ever looking at the problem in any way other than the way it is first presented. We don't really negotiate with each other; we state our preferred outcomes and resist any discussion.

For POJA to even have a viable application, both spouses must implement it unilaterally. You can't hold each other hostage to a way of living life unless you both follow it.

In any conflict between spouses, any resolution that permits one to gain benefit at the expense of the other, diminishes the bond and connection between the two. POJA is not supposed to get you a win. It is supposed to keep you from hurting each other by doing whatever you want, even though you know your spouse will be hurt by your actions. It is supposed to keep you from destroying your relationship over snow tires, a bass boat, new shoes or what color to paint the bedroom.

Most of the time one of you doesn't even care one way or another about what the other might want to do but if you don't agree, POJA is designed to keep you from having your way and your relationship paying the price.

BTW, if you have ever countered with an opinion that is the opposite of what your spouse wanted, you have been the person who is getting the default results. If he or she does it anyway, or if you do, it is not that POJA failed but that one of you did not follow it.

See also: Gottman re: Stonewalling

You both have to be willing to negotiate and both must be willing to examine options outside of your beginning opposite views or you aren't actually following POJA. You might want agreement but only if you get your way and that ends any possible resolution other than where you began.

LG, you might have had POJA in mind, but he had no intention of negotiating a solution. You can declare yourself the loser or you can look for more compelling argument for your position.

In real negotiations, the first stated position is the place to start, not the end game.Honest and civil discussion, maybe multiple times, is how you reach agreement. Until then there is no agreement and that ain't POJA. POJA requires agreement. Not reaching one is a failure of negotiation and not of the policy though it might be a failure to apply the policy to the conflict at hand.


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The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Mark1952] #388426
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Originally Posted By: Mark1952
The failure of POJA is because it isn't about agreement. It is about not doing anything without agreement.

The point is not to agree to do something one of you has no intention of doing, it is supposed to prevent you from doing things your spouse doesn't want to happen.

Most situations where it is considered a failure have to do with a power struggle with no possibility of resolution with either position prevailing. We both know that we are right. A or B, with no other possible outcome. But the majority of conflicts don't actually have only two possible outcomes. Where the failure happens is in deciding a winner and a loser without ever looking at the problem in any way other than the way it is first presented. We don't really negotiate with each other; we state our preferred outcomes and resist any discussion.

For POJA to even have a viable application, both spouses must implement it unilaterally. You can't hold each other hostage to a way of living life unless you both follow it.

In any conflict between spouses, any resolution that permits one to gain benefit at the expense of the other, diminishes the bond and connection between the two. POJA is not supposed to get you a win. It is supposed to keep you from hurting each other by doing whatever you want, even though you know your spouse will be hurt by your actions. It is supposed to keep you from destroying your relationship over snow tires, a bass boat, new shoes or what color to paint the bedroom.

Most of the time one of you doesn't even care one way or another about what the other might want to do but if you don't agree, POJA is designed to keep you from having your way and your relationship paying the price.

BTW, if you have ever countered with an opinion that is the opposite of what your spouse wanted, you have been the person who is getting the default results. If he or she does it anyway, or if you do, it is not that POJA failed but that one of you did not follow it.

See also: Gottman re: Stonewalling

You both have to be willing to negotiate and both must be willing to examine options outside of your beginning opposite views or you aren't actually following POJA. You might want agreement but only if you get your way and that ends any possible resolution other than where you began.

LG, you might have had POJA in mind, but he had no intention of negotiating a solution. You can declare yourself the loser or you can look for more compelling argument for your position.

In real negotiations, the first stated position is the place to start, not the end game.Honest and civil discussion, maybe multiple times, is how you reach agreement. Until then there is no agreement and that ain't POJA. POJA requires agreement. Not reaching one is a failure of negotiation and not of the policy though it might be a failure to apply the policy to the conflict at hand.


This indicates the existence of a valid process, the failure being in the people engaging in the process.

Other posters have indicated a lack of faith in the process itself. I tend to agree with them.


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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Chrysalis] #388430
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Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
POJA assumes good faith negotiation between two parties who decline to engage in power struggle. Which is why it is very difficult to make work. Because so often, somebody either isn't in good faith or can't let go of the power struggle.


Yes and that sums it up.

I have never been a fan of POJA......I am glad I can say that out loud now! smile

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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: SmilingWife] #388552
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I have only witnessed POJA to support stonewalling or backing up another person's choice by the "do nothing" argument. It might work for some people, but I have never seen it happen.

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Blair] #400005
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I am with Pep. POJA is a fabulous theory that rarely "works" with hot button issues.

It is like the "solution" I frequently propose for libido mismatches that is great in theory but I have never seen a couple actually implement: trade weeks. If a couple had the ability to "trade weeks", they wouldn't have such a severe problem dealing with their mismatch. If they can't resolve the mismatch, inevitably one wont be willing to trade weeks.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Blair] #400440
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Originally Posted By: Blair
I have only witnessed POJA to support stonewalling or backing up another person's choice by the "do nothing" argument. It might work for some people, but I have never seen it happen.


I agree. It doesn't work unless both parties enter into the negotiation in good faith and are willing to abide by the agreed upon outcome. Which, if you have that, they are probably already doing some version of the POJA anyway.

More often than not, I've seen it used as a tool to control.


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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: AntigoneRisen] #401415
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AR, it's not just you today, just a consistent theme, that folks who come here to recover their marriages are too frequently just here learning how to accept the unacceptable, or as another poster phrases it learning to like the taste of shinola sandwiches. And here we are today in Magnifying Marriages thread. I would love it if we could promote tools here to make good marriages great. That's what I thought we were here to do. Tools like POJA get slammed here though again and again.

Quote:
It doesn't work unless both parties enter into the negotiation in good faith


So now mutual good will towards one's spouse is not something we can assume anymore? Have we sank to that level? Are things that awful?

Here? In a place where our common goal is to be where you can go and get support in making your marriage a great one?

I feel like the girl in this song Here.



So tell them I'll be here
Right next to the boy who's throwin' up
Cause he can't take what's in his cup no more


So why do we just commiserate, yes, what's in your cup is awful, I had that too, it was awful for me too.

Instead of asking "What are you going to do to replace it already?!"

I love this place so much and it makes me so sad that we can't do more to create lasting happiness for people who sound like they would like that.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: NewEveryDay] #401421
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The main problem is that it takes two people willing to work on a solution to cultivate a relationship and help a solution actually happen. A lot of spouses aren't willing to make that kind of effort to negotiate and work together to find something that both partners find acceptable.

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: wiser_now] #401439
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Originally Posted By: wiser_now
I always loved the POJA... in theory. It works with my second husband but rarely did it work with my first husband (for the kinds of reasons LG mentioned.)

Like, when our children needed braces and their dad said no, he didn't get braces and they'll live without getting them, I just marched my kids to the orthodontist and got the darned things. No POJA, nor permission requested. Just did it. Felt good. LOL


Reminds me of my friend whose husband went from of my faith to rabid atheist after they has been married 4 years and had two kids. One day soon after his big announcement their two year old dd cut her own hair. My friend wanted to take her to the hair salon to straighten it up....and it would be a short cut bcause the child had taken a big chunk out. He didn't want her to. And then he pulled the 'I think God would want you to obey your husband'. She looks him dead in the eyes and said, "what God?"

Then she took her dd for a haircut.

They are divorcd now btw.

POJA.....I think it has a legalistic feel to it which I don't like. Dh and I do quite well with this concept....bcause overall we are in agreement with how to live our life.

But when it comes to things like not letting a spouse see their FOO, or telling a spouse to abandon their faith, or cut a toddler s hair, well at that point there is such conflict POJA is dead in the water. Basic respect needs to return for any hope.

Last edited by SmilingWife; 12/13/15 05:20 PM.
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: SmilingWife] #401441
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It doesn't have to be preached as POJA either. Posters here are constantly discussing how to compromise and work through disagreements. We are always discussing finding something that both partners can live with.

And yes, that usually does mean settling for less than you both really want. The idea that you don't do it unless both partners are enthusiastic about it realistically means that very little, if anything, gets done.

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: peppermint] #401443
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Originally Posted By: peppermint
It doesn't have to be preached as POJA either. Posters here are constantly discussing how to compromise and work through disagreements. We are always discussing finding something that both partners can live with.

And yes, that usually does mean settling for less than you both really want. The idea that you don't do it unless both partners are enthusiastic about it realistically means that very little, if anything, gets done.


Exactly Pep. I dislike the word enthusiastic . And I dislike how compromise is seen as failure. Resentful compromise is a failure but agreeing to eat Chinese once in a while bcause your spouse loves it, doesn't need to be resentful or enthusiastic. Just life. Give a little, take a little. Work to make each other happy.

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: NewEveryDay] #401937
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Quote:
So now mutual good will towards one's spouse is not something we can assume anymore? Have we sank to that level? Are things that awful?


It's not something I've ever been able to assume. And most marriages that are in trouble do not have mutual goodwill. For those who have a power struggle dynamic in their marriages, the POJA is fraught with difficulties, and I wouldn't recommend it at all.


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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: AntigoneRisen] #402079
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I am so grateful that we got our guest speaker this week. I had felt like we had gone from problem-solving to settling for the muck. But now I have new hope.

All this stuff is SO solvable.

AR, I understand why you wouldn't recommend it when you don't see good will. I still would, like stop the gas leak. While addressing the lack of goodwill


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: NewEveryDay] #402090
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
I am so grateful that we got our guest speaker this week. I had felt like we had gone from problem-solving to settling for the muck. But now I have new hope.

I'm very grateful, too, NED. It gets tiring reading so many being advised to divorce before even knowing a whole lot about the situation. If someone was ready to divorce, I can't imagine them coming to a marriage advocacy site to get pwrmission feom a bunch of strangers. I'm hopeful that some of the knowledge and wisdom that our guest speaker contributed might also reach those who insult the spouses of some of our members and who seem to attempt to bully a member into joining them in their view, and reach them in a way that might help them identify things that could be hindering them in their own situations.

Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #445537
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Bump


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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #445619
05/23/21 06:20 PM
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I have never posted to this thread and I think I know why.

I can't always agree with the use of the word "enthusiastically" in the verbiage.

We tried this when we were at the MB Weekend. In theory, it sounds good.

Always agree or don't.

Don't what?

Don't agree?

Don't do it?

Yes, both.

But that means that the foot-dragger always wins, right? I've always been the cautious one. I've agreed with DH on some things reluctantly, often just to stretch away from being overly concerned about everything. But "enthusiastically???"

NOT.

Hey, anyone heard from "Not To Fun?" That just made me thing of her.
(Not only am I extra cautious but I'm also easily distracted. smile


Last edited by Ace; 05/23/21 06:23 PM. Reason: to change emoticons since some don't appear to be transfering

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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #445623
05/23/21 11:12 PM
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Shes getting married in the not to far future...

Flick and I could never get as far as enthusiastic, we are not that type of people. But we still POJA. It's more ' do I hates it? No. Does it worry me? No. Can I live with it it? Yes. I have no particular objection '


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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Lil] #445629
05/24/21 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lil
Shes getting married in the not to far future...


Is Not Too Fun one of the 4 you've been in touch with over the years? Hope she joins us here.

Just curious, Lil....in my time zone (Pacific Daylight Time,) I show your last post on this thread as logging inn at 4:12 PM on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

What day and time would that have been when you posted it?


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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #445633
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Its monday, not sure what time it was tho. Somewhere between 11am and 3 pm

Right now its monday night, and 6pm


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Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: Vibrissa] #445634
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The POJA done right makes a world of difference in a marriage. And "enthusiasm" is kind of a weird word to describe what the goal actually is. The key is to create a win-win situation. Win-win in this situation means that both of you get your needs met and neither of you caves. If one of the people is compromising, sacrificing, or agreeing to something that only makes their spouse happy---then it isn't a POJA. Foot-dragging, stonewalling, procrastination---all undermine the basic precept.


"Yes, I'll have the love combo, open faced with a side of respect and large a glass of forgiveness, easy on the ice please--my brother
Re: The Policy of Joint Agreement [Re: star*fish] #445636
05/24/21 02:56 PM
05/24/21 02:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,535
Ace Online
Advocate
Ace  Online
Advocate
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,535
Originally Posted by star*fish
If one of the people is compromising, sacrificing, or agreeing to something that only makes their spouse happy---then it isn't a POJA. Foot-dragging, stonewalling, procrastination---all undermine the basic precept.


Hi Star,

Thanks for your reply. Obviously we don't understand the POJA process.

I've put my details on my thread in the Carport.

Thanks,
Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

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