Is there such a thing as Decision Languages?

Like Love Languages, but around how you each make decisions?

I haven’t posted a relationship vent in a while, which makes me boring as a blogger but relatively sane as a wife. That said, ’tis time.

My husband and I make decisions very, very differently.  I ponder in my head, wait for the idea to settle into my soul, and go forward. On Sunday I realized we had too much work and too little time to hit our goals on our current house before this kiddo comes, hence this other post. By Monday, with some feedback from our Realtor and a few discussions with my husband (and input from my important people and then my husband again), I was ready with my decision: we’d move.

While the financial aspects are still not 100% clear (and won’t be until we sell the house), the time/ effort/ family drama pieces are: we are running out of time, lack the energy, and our history doesn’t bode well for getting major work done in a jiffy.

My husband is not ready to make the decision. He prefers to sit with something for a (very long) time.  And ask a bunch of people for their opinion.  Depending on who he’s talking to, he might change his mind a few times.

From my perspective, it feels like other people’s (non-expert) opinions trump his latest discussion with me. From his perspective, once I decide, I want him to agree (this is true). I don’t think there’s any reason to revisit a decision if the underlying assumptions or data (input) hasn’t changed. And I make decisions quickly. He doesn’t.

So we’re in an argument over this house-moving. I don’t think that our Realtor noting that the big house might be tougher to sell because it can’t go FHA changes things; we knew this already and it doesn’t change the critical factor, which is that this house needs a ton of work (and we’ll have to write big checks at a time when we’re also preparing for a baby).  He doesn’t think waiting a few more days (weeks?) will make a difference.

ARGH. Figuring out how to pull someone else into a decision while respecting your own position is really hard, as is negotiating timing differences. I don’t want to arm-twist him into something he’ll later complain about (plus who wants that kind of relationship?) but I feel like the looming deadline of this kid arriving and honesty about our capacity isn’t being taken into account.

Clearly I don’t have a big lesson learned with which to wrap up this post, just a lot of venting.  Sorry. Let’s just say this is one of those posts where I admit that life is hard, relationships are hard, and compromising sucks *ss.  If not done well, it leaves you feeling like you’ve ceded all control of everything to someone else, even when that person doesn’t necessarily want/ enjoy/ deliver on that pressure.


9 thoughts on “Is there such a thing as Decision Languages?

  1. I am in the exact same position with my husband! (not buying/selling a house, just the way we make decisions.) the waiting/waffling with, as you say, new no data – it drives me crazy and in the end I think I do tend to steamroller over him to just get it done. luckily he is pretty laid back and tends to get on board after the fact . . . but maybe that just encourages my bad behavior!

  2. Is there a way that you can sit down and make out pro and con lists, together?

    Also, is there a way the two of you can agree on a DECISION DUE DATE. Written in stone. On this date, a decision is made. Compromise on the timing of the decision can’t hurt, right?

    • @kylydia, Yes, this is smart and something I’ll try harder to come to agreement on. I keep asking when he’ll decide, but I need to be more assertive and say, “Let’s decide on Thursday.”

  3. my husband makes decisions the same way (asking others, waiting forEVER, seems to not take my opinion into account–ok, it just seems like that because he didn’t side with me asap). Still, so frustrating!

  4. My husband is a toe-dipper, I’m a jumper. We’re both researchers and planners, but he takes FOREVER to pull the trigger on a decision. Like Kimberly, I tend to steamroll him after letting him mull things over for a certain amount of time.

    To that end though, have you guys contemplated what happens if you don’t sell the house?

    • @Courtney`, Yes – lots of work.

      Oh, do you mean if we move and put this one on the market for a while and it doesn’t sell? Yea. Well, I know what I’d do, he’s just thinking about it. We’d drop the price – that should do it for such a big space. Just by moving we avoid about $10k in immediate cost.

  5. I was just thinking about this, though more related to planning. We’re talking about moving in a year, but we have very different thought processes. I want detailed spreadsheets, time lines, and contingency plans, while my husband wants to relax and see what happens.

    How long would you want to stay in the smaller house before moving again? Would the cost of multiple moves be more than the cost of getting the current house fixed up?

  6. I don’t really have anything to offer other than that we’re very similar. And also, that once a decision is made, I can go about the big task of getting used to it- so when my husband is taking awhile to make up his mind, it can really drive me to drinking.
    (not really)

    (oh who are we kidding, yes really)

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