I am very organized. My husband is not. He’s an academic and he loses track of time when he’s immersed in things, so I’m the one who arranges the insurance, the dental exams, the vacations, the new shoes – all the boring little bits of clothing. lives that allow us to continue happily. The problem comes when he decides he wants to make a change.
When he puts an idea in his head, it becomes essential. Early in our relationship, I would say if I didn’t like any of these decrees, but it only got him started. Fifteen years into our marriage, I have developed a much better tactic. I totally agree with him and then I do absolutely nothing to help him. Sounds bad, I know. But that means I always win.
For example, he wanted the children to go to the nearest Catholic school, which is a half hour drive away, rather than the excellent non-denominational school on the nearby street. I accepted without any argument. I did point out, however, that since he’s a Catholic, not me, he would need to go to school and talk to the local priest to put their names down. During this time, I quietly wrote down the names of the children for the school I wanted. I didn’t remind my husband of the Catholic school and of course he left it too late, so the kids went to my favorite school and are totally settled.
Let’s take another example. Once the kids were all in school, he decided he wanted us to leave town for a more rural life. I disagreed as the three children were happy, his university job was within walking distance, and mine was a short bus ride away. I listened as he spoke with words of great green spaces and a better air, I enthusiastically accepted and suggested that he look for homes he liked.
He was a little surprised at my immediate agreement and we found three charming little villages. I encouraged him to try the round trip. After a 6am start, where he was late for his first lecture and then only returned to the picturesque village after 9pm, he wasn’t so excited – as I knew he didn’t. would not. I suggested the train could be better. He left for the station one evening straight from work and finally called at 8 p.m. to say that there were only two trains an hour after 7:30 p.m. and the one he was in had broken down. He gave up on the idea. I congratulated myself on another successful mind game.
I thought maybe this was the end of his big plans. But now he’s convinced that a retreat in the Scottish Highlands, home schooling the kids and both working from home – I’m a surveyor – is a good idea. Again, I encourage him to do his research. I sometimes fear that one day he will actually put the cat in action. But in the meantime it’s my doll number nodding and my fingers crossed.
Read more: I love my stepchildren, I just don’t want mine