Negotiation is a great way to avoid wars, get back hostages, and deal with business issues.
But what is its place in a marriage?
At its simplest, the functionality of negotiation is "If you'll do this for me, I'll do this for you."
Something like, "I'll go to the tractor pull with you if you'll come see The Barber Of Seville with me. And I'll even enjoy it (or pretend to)."
I guess the question is, is anything worth putting your spouse into the position of being an unwilling participant (or spectator)? Can you really enjoy the tractor pull, knowing your wife would rather be cleaning the kids' bathroom, or doing anything else?
Oh, sorry. Yes, I know, it was the wife who wanted to go to the tractor pull. I stand corrected.
Is this really what you want in your closest relationship? Trying to get what you want in exchange for doing something you'd prefer to avoid?
Is this what St. Paul was saying, when he said we should put our spouses' interests first?
And, if it comes down to enduring The Barber of Seville, counting all tribulation as joy? Are you counting it as joy if you're waiting for it to end, so you can change the tux for a greasy ballcap and whack the love of your life on the rump while yelling "YEE-HA" over the sound of an unmuffled V-8?
Or are you just keeping score? I did this much, and got this much back?
And when you're looking death in the face, are you going to count up what you 'got', or what you freely gave, without expectation of a reward?