Marriage Lesson #27 aka Not My Department

Al  had a post where he was talking about buying another vehicle and having the discussion with his spouse about the purchase. It reminded me of my husband and my relationship where purchases are concerned.

Perhaps the biggest purchase we've ever made was land that he had been farming and when the landlord died we were given the option to buy. The stars aligned and it worked out. Consequently, we decided to build a house on a portion of that land. Although my husband went into shock when the banker said, "go ahead… do it now" (almost five years ago), he was a good sport about it all and turned the whole thing over to me. He knew I'd been designing and dreaming of a house for years and had some ideas that I felt pretty strongly about. His line was, "I just want to know how much it costs."

To those men who think I just castrated my husband, I did not. He was consulted on several points that directly effected him (the garage, the deck) and he was more than happy to give me his input – which I took into consideration and accepted into the overall design. I know him very well, too, so I didn't do this without him in mind. His habits and likes and dislikes were very much incorporated.

When it comes to the farm business, he keeps me in the loop… but I leave the decisions to him. He decides on equipment purchases, all input purchases (seed, fertilizer), and does all the marketing (for you townies, that is the selling of the grain). I don't ever "second guess" him on these decisions and, although he keeps me informed of them and appreciates my opinion, I make it perfectly clear to him that this is "not my department" and as far as I'm concerned is "not my decision".

He accepts the same attitude when it comes to technology and things around the house. He leaves it to me to select computers, printers, scanners, fax machines, most phones (he does pick his own cell phone), the decision to get the DVRs, etc. He tells me if he hates something I've bought for the house (which he's never told me) or if I've purchased something grocery-wise he likes or doesn't like. I can usually tell by how fast some snack gets inhaled whether or not I should be buying more of them or try something else. His attitude is, "not my department". 

We respect each other's decision. Yes, he'll drive me crazy with his decision making process. I've referred to it as "the waffle". He generally will think of something he wants to purchase or something he wants to do… then, over the course of days, weeks, or sometimes months, he talks himself our of the idea and into the idea multiple times. I say that is the ups and downs of the waffle… then, finally, he'll "fall off the edge" and make a final decision. (More often than not it is the one he started with, but it appears to be a process he needs to go through to feel right about it.) Ironically enough, after he makes the purchase he'll search the classified ads to make sure he didn't get 'screwed'! (Is that a 'guy' thing?)

I realize this method wouldn't work for everyone. It just happens to work for us… at least it has for about 30 years… 

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

11 thoughts on “Marriage Lesson #27 aka Not My Department”

  1. Sounds familiar. 🙂 It means that you respect each other’s differences and strengths. Obviously, it works. I like to be consulted about everything, but I don’t want to make every decision.

    My decision making process is exactly the same with one difference. Once I’ve made the purchase, I am the smartest man in the world and I don’t want to read any news contrary to that belief… so I won’t be looking at prices afterwards.

  2. Dammit! Now I’ve got that song, “Do the Shuffle” stuck in my head. ‘Cept it’s “Do the Waffle”… doo-doo-doo-doo-Do-the -Waffle. But that’s just me.

  3. I am a true waffler and suffer from post waffle syndrome as well on important items. Especially the less I know about something that pulls at my ‘gimme ‘ strings. In my case it may be an over reaction to an inherant greed chromosone left over from my early childhood. I was not very sociable on the playground, in the store or in the home. I decided at an early age the world was “mine!” (the first word I spoke much to the horror of my then non-genitors btw).

  4. I don’t waffle. I have been known to charge off and tilt windmills. Mrs A is my sanity check. She will lay out very logically why I should or shouldn’t make a particular expenditure, and then tell me “But I’ll leave that up to you”.

    Sometimes it irks me that she mkes so damn much sense. She is my reslity check. I am more a “Danm the torpedoes, full speed ahead”.

    On the flip side of the coin, she can be so fiscally controlled that we would be counting cornflakes. I pull her out of her cave and into the light, and we do something she would never do on her own.

    Like last year we traded in her Pathfinder for a new Chevy HHR. She didn’t want to take on the new car payment, but I eventually convinced her that the cars were my responsibility, and she needed to trust my judgement. She did, and she loves the new car and it gets twice as good gas mileage as the old one did.

    I don’t know as I would call it compromise, more like checks and ballances.

  5. 30 years…well i didn’t even make it 7…Well on the bright side I do the waffle thing do! Sometimes i “order” by dog earing catalogue pages, but i rarely actually order anything! You and your hubbie sound like perfect puzzle parts…

  6. Instead of waffling, my husband analyzes every detail to death. I can’t rush the process – he must look at everything read everything, research every detail and he still isn’t comfortable… but that’s the way he is.

    (Is that a ‘guy’ thing?)

    Yes it is… *grin*

  7. We make all our purchase decisions together but I’m like your husband where I can sometimes take a long time to decide to get something and then I’m obsessed making sure I got the best deal possible.

  8. Sounds like the perfect arrangement to me.

    I can tell that you both have your own way of doing things, but you have mutual respect for the other, and are willing to compromise.

  9. No one can be great at everything, so it makes perfect sense the way you’ve worked it out together. To me, it takes a stonger person to admit that they aren’t as good at something (or don’t really care about it). Ted and I seem to work in a similar pattern, though we have a LONG way to go:)

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