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I can tell you my wife would never pull up a spreadsheet like you mention. She doesn't have that skill set.
You said your wife ticked all the boxes on Livvies list.
I guess she didn't tick the 'intelligent' box after all.
 

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You said your wife ticked all the boxes on Livvies list.
I guess she didn't tick the 'intelligent' box after all.
Lovely roundabout way of calling my wife stupid, way to go! She's very intelligent, she just doesn't use Excel. She has no use for it in her career. Maybe you weren't intelligent enough to figure that out.
 

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So I’ve noticed over the years that my spouse comes up with a lot of “we need to”, “we should”, “I want” ideas. Some good, some I could go either way. She feels connected “dreaming together.”

So what normally happens is, I indulge her and eventually she gets me to “yes” and I start knocking out the planning, the problem solving and execution. She then tunes out. She’s there for the shopping and when I tell her what I’m gonna do she says “have fun” and does something else (errands, stuff with kids) while I’m alone. When I try to connect afterwards by discussing everything that happened her responses are mostly“thanks babe”, “that sucks babe” and the conversation ends.

So basically she likes me playing along with her stuff and either disappears for mine or has no interest. She also never really seems to have a plan.
@aaarghdub,

I'm going to take a slightly different tactic, only because you are there and I'm not, so you'll be able to tell if this is a possibility or not. I've noticed that there are some people in the world who like to dream out loud and they do all their thinking on the exterior. So to them, they have an idea, flesh out the idea by talking about it, and when you say "okay" or "yes I see that" they feel validated and like they have planned their idea!

Then there are the other people, and they dream in their head and do all their thinking on the interior. So to them, the idea is like the name of the project and they flesh it all out by thinking inside and laying the blueprints or making a spreadsheet. When they say "Look at my spreadsheet" and the other person looks, they feel validated and like they have planned the idea.

It's not so much that one way is "right" and the other is "wrong"--they are just VASTLY different. And it sounds to me like if we were to give your wife some benefit of the doubt, she's an exterior thinker. So she shares her idea, you take it and run with it a little and give her some steps, and she's thinks all is great and planned out. She has received her validation! But she doesn't realize that YOU don't think like her. You're in interior thinker, and when you share your spreadsheets, she doesn't return the favor and validate you. So SHE consistently feels affirmed and YOU consistently feel dismissed.

It would be fruitless for you to expect or even hope for an exterior thinker to think in an interior way--just as it would be hopeless for her to hope for an interior thinker to think in an exterior way. But there are two things you can do: 1) you could ask her if her idea is just her talking out loud and sort of dreaming of the future aloud (in other words, would she just like you to listen and join in the dream), and 2) you could share the exterior thinker/interior thinker stuff that I shared up above to let her know that you feel dismissed and disaffirmed. In both instances, you aren't asking her to stop being her, but you are 1) asking if she's just wanting to enjoy the connection of dreaming together (with no expectation of planning), and 2) sharing with her that you have not been enjoying the connection because she doesn't return the favor and do it back to you.

Now she wants to discuss a new house which I know will be death by a million details leaving the planning, problem solving and heavy lifting to me. So far her contribution is an idea and she got a job. Basically I see a lot of her showing up to discuss without any homework done. With her new job I feel this would the same as before: good idea fairy -> pass off -> enjoy finished efforts.

My question is how do I not accept the task of making it happen but not come off as aloof, unconcerned about it or playing “I have a secret”? I connect over problem solving but at this point I feel like the nerd constantly doing the cheerleader’s science project for her and she has no interesting in discussion the science project, just that it’s done.
Okay so A) tell her that's how you feel! In fact, use that analogy because it's cute and not real mean or blaming. You feel like a nerd who's doing the cheerleader's homework, and she's the cheerleader! Next, she may not really, actually WANT a new house. She may just want that feeling of daydreaming together about growing older together, having a big house full of loved ones, having lots of people around the table for Thanksgiving, and having grandchildren at her knee when she celebrates a big birthday. That's cool--dream together! On the other hand, if she really does want a new house, then give her bite-size assignments, like this: "Okay let's talk tonight, and why don't you show me a couple areas you've found that you kind of like in the City of ____?" The end. If she doesn't do it, just brush it off and say "Oh no problem, I was busy too today. Let's take a raincheck until you've found a couple okay?"

Also when she does show you a couple, she may show you a SUPER wealthy area or a brand new construction and you're head will WHIRL with details about financing and trying to build right now, etc. Calm yourself. Ask what she likes that area because it could be she likes how pretty it is...the parks...how safe it is...how the houses look...etc. See what I mean? Once again, she might be looking for a FEELING (like "Oh it just felt so old and warm and homey").

Finally, if she digs in her heels and really does want you to do all the work while she enjoys the finished product, just speak up. Say "no, I'm not willing to do that big of a project all alone." Would you be willing to do it with her actual help? Would you be willing to do it at all? Just tell her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
@Affaircare ; thanks for the lengthy response.

WRT to the internal-external thinking, it depends on what it is. Many times it’s obvious she has internally figured it out (vacations are an example) and has a plan which she’ll ask if I’m ok with it.


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