Finding Diana

An everyday woman's guide to figuring out what the hell happened to her life

 


Finding Diana
An everyday woman's guide to figuring out what the hell happened to her life


A fish out of water

What do you do when two people in a relationship want different things?  In this case it's fish.  Not the delicious pistachio encrusted halibut that I dream about.  This is about pets.  Pets that live in liquid. 

My husband wants to get a fish tank and fish.  He loves animals of all kinds and really wants fish. I, on the other hand, do not want anything that either costs money, entails responsibility or both.  I have four children and a dog for that.

So what are we to do?  I am hearing the familiar refrain that I will not have anything to do with them and that they will not be my responsibility.    I am skeptical about promises of any kind.  I don't believe in them because as circumstances change, sometimes its not possible to keep your promises.

So here we are at a crossroads. He wants fish, I don't.  There isn't a lot of room in the middle.  We can't get half a fish, or rent them for a week to see how we like it. 

I guess the challenge is to see how to solve these types of problems.  More important than the actual fish is the process of handling the negotiation. By definition negotiation means taking opposite sides.  But, as spouses, we are supposed to get along and survive the negotiation process.  Either way the one who "wins" really loses.  The one who wins ends up with a spouse who is resentful.  At least for my husband. 

I don't think its really possible to come to a resolution we will both be happy with. If there were something I wanted in return, we could make a trade.  But I don't want anything right now.   

Probably what will happen is he will get the fish and I will have an IOU stuck in my head so that when something comes up that he isn't thrilled with, I can take out the fish.  It's almost like banking a compromise.  I would like a hotel on Boardwalk made out of fish, so that when we roll the dice I have a way to avoid monopoly.  I'm sure there is some kind of message in there, but I haven't figured that out yet.

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