Let her preferences win out when possible

August 8, 2011

in Acts of Service, Her Needs

Movie Tickets © Skypixel | Dreamstime.comYou and your bride each have preferences: what kind restaurant to go to, what movie to see, how to hang the toilet paper, and so on.

How often do your preferences “win out”? Is it more than half the time?

Be radical – make it a goal to go with her preferences more than half the time.

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” [Ph 2:3 ESV]

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4 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Tony - See a mix of things there, and don't know enough to make even a decent guess. I would bet you are running into some games, issues/habits from her family of origin, but probably more than just that. If you can live with it as "how she is" that's fine - if you can't, you probably need third party help to get any traction with it.

Tony
Tony

I don't think she's mean. I'm not even sure she's really aware of it. We are both type A, firstborn children. Both been married before, both left by our former spouses. Different circumstances, but same outcome. So to say we both have ideas on how things "should" be done would be classic British understatement. Maybe it is a test. Maybe the next time she pulls that parking "stunt" I'll simply stop (if safe), get out and suggest she take over since she finds my choice unsuitable. It's not like either of us are disabled, or our car is anything special. We are both healthy, both go to the gym, her a bit more than me, I get more exercise in my day to day life. The car is a low trim line Japanese branded mid-size four door, so it's not like I'm parking a Bugatti next to a hoopdie. It really baffles me. I think it's just she has an idea how she would do it, and it comes out of her mouth.

Rob
Rob

I think it's true - some guys need to lead and be *less* deferential. I think the overall recommendation would be to lead better while taking her preferences into greater account. Tony, either it's a test, your decisions really are bad or she's just mean. If it's a test of your leadership, you "pass" by holding your ground. If your decisions need work (doesn't seem likely), learn. If it's just a way to mess with you, call her on it and don't play.

Tony
Tony

Wow, I struggle with this, but I think from the other direction. Let's take the example of eating out. I can and often do eat anything. My wife has some food allergies, so her choices are more limited. Since my taste in food includes the subset food, except maybe celery, I seldom care what we have or if we eat out, where we go. Many can probably see this coming. I'll ask her where does she want to go, or what does she want, and she'll say, "I don't know, what do you want?" Sometimes I'll cut to the chase and say you are the one who has the final say anyway, I'll eat anything, so what is your preference. Sometimes not even that gets the ball rolling, so I'll throw out some suggestions. Either restaurants, or meal ideas. I've learned not to actually develop any serious desire to go to these places because I'd say 99 out 100 times, they are rejected. Then she suggests someplace or some meal and we are off and running. It's not like I try to pick things she doesn't want or didn't like before. No, I think of places where she does like the food, or think of meals she has liked before and make those as suggestions. My question is, can one go "too far" with this idea? It seems like a rock and a hard place situation. If I take the lead, she doesn't want to go. But every time we have this discussion, she says "you pick." But her response after I pick says she didn't really want me to pick, or she had something in mind I was supposed to pick, but she didn't let me in on what it was she was thinking about. I feel like I'm getting a mixed message. She says with her words that she wants me to lead. But if I do, there is almost always a redirect of where I'm going. Another example is simply parking the car. If I'm driving, and pick out a parking spot, as I start to pull in, it will be a "you are parking here?" with that inflection question. Really? I'm about to the point where I'll just stop the car, get out, and suggest she park it and I'll meet her inside. I don't recall any comments on my parking when we were dating. She didn't seem to have any problems with it. It's not that I don't want to honor her preferences. It's that when does it become, "You don't do anything right!" I've mentioned this to her, and so far, it's been a fruitless exercise. Apparently her preference is to continue to tell me how to perform simple tasks I've been doing for decades, and my preference to be the adult in charge of my stuff falls by the wayside.

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