In the past week, I’ve written blogs about goals and resolutions, about accomplishments, and what I hope to do in 2016. I participate in a monthly blog hop called Insecure Writers Support Group and yesterday over 90% of the posts were about setting goals or making resolutions. (If you’re interested, here's the link to the post.) Consequently, I’m not going to talk about that today. Instead, I want to talk about making decisions.
When we first married, I would get very frustrated with my husband when we had to make a major decision. I’d talk and talk and he said little or nothing. Drove me crazy. It wasn’t until I became trainer for Girl Scouts that I finally understood him. First I taught leaders how to be leaders, and eventually I trained the trainers. In the process, I learned how adults learn new things. Some of us learn by talking in groups and coming to a conclusion. Others mull things over in their mind (without talking) before coming to a conclusion. (There are others ways adults learn, but those two examples explained my husband’s and my methods.) I’m a talker; he’s a muller. Once I understood, I learned to change my expectations. I gave him space then—surprise, surprise—he opened up. I guess after forty-three years we’ve learned to adapt.
So what brought up this topic today? We’re out in Arizona visiting our son and his family, esp. the new baby. (You’re probably tired of me talking about her. LOL) Within a day of our arrival, Son mentioned we should consider buying a place out here for part of the year. Now we just built a house to be close to our daughter and her family. We want to enjoy the grandkids’ activities (without a 4-hour round trip drive) and, in general, see them more often. At the time of making that decision, those were our only grandchildren and nothing was keeping us in the old house. But now we have another family 2,000 miles away. What do we do? We’ll want to enjoy her activities when she gets older.
Ever since we knew about the baby, I’d given thought to spending winters close to our other family. Never said anything to Hubs. (Who’s the muller now?) In the three weeks we’ve been here, neither he nor I brought up our son’s suggestion . . . until the other day when he wanted to show me a senior community. He’d been out driving around when I was babysitting and looking at places. I was shocked. He’d actually considered it. I figured he’d give me all these reasons why buying out here was a bad idea. This is what comes of my assuming I knew what Hubs was thinking.
What are we going to do? At this point, who knows? If money were no object, we’d do it in a heartbeat. I think. There are so many things to consider. More importantly, we need to talk to each other more. I’m all for listing pros and cons, while Hubs will mull things over. Or maybe he’ll surprise me and say “let’s do it.” That would be a real shockeroo.
For those of you who have to take another person into consideration when making major decisions, how do you go about it?
Diane Burton writes romantic adventure . . . stories that take place on Earth and beyond. She blogs here on the 8th and 30th of each month and on Mondays on her own site: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/
Your 'dilemma' sounds like the natural progression of things to me. Though what to do - what to do? Seems like Hubs infamous mulling ability is starting to pay off. Wouldn't life be so less complicated if money were no object......
It's a big decision. My husband and I also approach things differently. I talk and talk and talk. At one point, he might say, I thought we decided on such and such. It tends to be the one point he was really listening to. But I'm still talking. After 47 years, I don't think we have the communication thing totally figured out. Good luck, Diane!
We haven't had major decisions like that one to make. We've lived in the same place since we got married, and buying a lot and building a house way back then was a no-brainer. Sometimes my husband says crazy "we should do this or that" things that make my hair stand on end. I used to freak out. It took me a while to realize he was just sounding off do to something that was irritating him. Now I roll my eyes and wait for him to drop the subject. I'm sure you'll make a smart decision together when you've both thought through the pros and cons.
Diane, this is a tough one. I must say that I'm so relieved NOT to have two places to maintain and worry about, now that we sold the boat. I have friends with two homes (CA and Colorado) and the worry factor is huge. A middle ground is to rent a VRBO (we're fans!) or an extended stay villa...overall cheaper and a way to test out the approach you're considering. It's a lot to mull, all right! Good luck!
LOL, Margo. If money were no object . . . Why couldn't our son move back to Mich and save us the decision making. :)
Brenda,I'm glad I'm not the only one with communication problems, even after being married for so long.
Jannine, sounds like your husband and I are of similar temperament. My imagination lets me think up all kinds of things to do. I'm a writer with a pretty good imagination, after all. :)
Rolynn, thanks for that perspective. Worry would definitely be on the con side. I like your middle ground solution. Something to explore.
That's a big decision, Diane. If my daughter ever has a family, I suspect we'll be faced with a similar one. OG and I are also often at cross purposes when trying to make big decisions. We're both mullers - not good for communication. The problem is, after I announce my decision he'll usually say he agrees (whether he really does or not). Then after things are in motion and it's too late to change course, panic sets in. That's how he managed to give himself a stroke when we moved to California. Good luck with your decision, and keep talking!
Thanks, Alison. I can only imagine how panic & stress can lead to a stroke. It was a big decision to move more than halfway across the country. Great advice about keep talking.
Wow, that is a big decision. Funny that you were thinking about it and he mentioned it. :) I am glad I don't have anyone to run big decisions by. If I did, it sounds like the two of you handle it pretty nicely. :)
That is a big decision but how about time shares or house swapping? That is SO popular now days and might be the solution to owning two homes...of course if Son has enough room a MIL cottage or garage apartment might work too and be less expense/worry. Then there's a RV or motor home....
There's always a way!
Great post too.
Interesting in that my hubs and I have also considered a second home for grand kids far, far away (Hawaii) from our VA home. The economy in HI made the decision for us--too pricey! So, we do a long-term rental each winter, which is not so bad!
Good luck with your muller. I, too, am married to one!
Good luck with your decision. The hubs and I can talk about things but we come to decisions in totally different manners-which is frustrating. I like to think and plan while he is more impulsive.
I enjoy the trips to see my kids, but also enjoy coming back home. Their lives are so busy and ours are, too, in their writing/promo way. Daughter lives in Indiana. My two sons currently live in Maryland although one is seriously thinking of moving to SC or Georgia or Florida after Ryan graduates from college. I am a planner and a muller, so is Calvin but he likes things to be HIS idea, so I have to be careful how I "plant" the seed. LOL Great post.
I love your term "muller." My DH and I are both "talkers." Unfortunately, we always seem to approach a major decision from different angles. We both come to the same point, but the process of getting there can be painful. LOL
Alicia, it is ironic funny that we can be thinking about the same thing without the other knowing. It was like twisting his arm for us to stay so long this time, so I'm surprised he's even thinking about buying.
Pam, you're right. There's always a way.
Susan, I'm sure there's a word for what Hubs does. Muller just seemed to apply. :) I've heard that about HI. AZ is a lot better. Still, it's a big chunk of money. I'm inclined to think long-term rental might be the solution.
Maureen, it's a challenge. LOL
Vonnie, your kids are all over. Difficult. I remember how my mom would "lead" my dad to her way of thinking. LOL
Diane, Hubs and I approach things different ways, too. I'm glad he listens to me. That means I have to listen to him, too. :)
What are we going to do? If I had a penny for each time that question came up I wouldn't have a money issue.
That question becomes bigger and more critical with each year I live.
Luckily, decision-making has never been a problem for us, even though our personalities are so different. I'm more whimsical, more impulsive. My husband is solid, intelligent, rational. Usually we'll talk it out and he'll come up with potential pluses and minuses that I didn't see, and I'll come up with some he didn't see. I have just enough whit about me to know that I need to rely heavily on his brains.
I have a friend though...one time she was picking napkins to go in a bowl. "I was thinking turquoise and white. Or maybe I should add a third color. But what color should that be?" She would put them together, taken them apart, move into different lighting...until I was ready to SCREAM. "JUST CHOOSE SOMETHING!!!" I'm glad I don't have that problem most of the time.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's good to be a little introspective sometimes. :) Good luck with your decision!
C. Lee, thanks for adding to the conversation. I thought the decisions we had to make in our 20s & 30s were big. LOL
MJ, it sounds like you & your husband complement each other. I think mine & I do, too We both see things the other doesn't. I know what you mean about people who can't make a simple decision. I'd want to scream, too.
Great conversation, Diane. My husband and I tend to both keep new ideas private until we're sure we want to broach to the other. Kind of sounds like what you've done in this case. It is a difficult choice. I like Rolynn's idea of a VRBO...presuming, again, that money is no object. I've always thought I'd still live where I want to live and visit my kids wherever they settled. I mean, what happens when you move next to one or the other, and then they get a transfer? Do you pack up and move after them? But then again, I haven't yet faced that decision, so the jury is out! Wishing you much luck with whatever you decide.
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