• Primary Decision Makers: Choose Your Own Adventure
  • Primary Decision Makers: Choose Your Own Adventure

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  1. #1
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    Primary Decision Makers: Choose Your Own Adventure

    This question sort of only works if you are in a relationship or at least live with someone you are close with: Do you find that you are the primary decision maker or do you go with the flow?

    In my case (this is no secret) my wife is Japanese and more or less refuses to make decisions. She will voice concerns and displeasure with outcomes, but she will NEVER pull the trigger on anything. I choose every weekend plan, where we live, what dinner will be, what she should wear to family events or fancy dinners, whether or not we have kids & when, whether or not she can work, and how much $ we spend on any given thing (groceries, entertainment, etc.). That last one was a bit of a struggle, because in Japan women control 100% of the house's finances, which I could not hand over to a person incapable of making decisions.

    I didn't push for any of this, yet I have more or less exclusively wound up in relationships with passive decision-makers. I don't want responsibility for another adult, and if they push me to make decisions for them, at a base level I feel that they should lose the ability to complain about the outcome. Since I have accepted my role as decision-maker in most relationships (even with friends) I have developed a different view of the whole situation. If things were really 50/50 how could you ever make any progress outside of unanimous decisions?

    The reason this came up is that I'm looking to buy a house soon. I laid out the options for my wife and she told me she doesn't even need to come along to see the place(s) before I choose one. She says someone needs to stay home and watch the dog, lol. I appreciate her 110% trust in me....but can any of you who are on the passive side of things help me understand where that passiveness comes from? Is it just too overwhelming to make choices? Truth be told, I get exhausted at times from more or less managing two adult lives. How can a grown adult let someone else decide where they're going to live without batting an eye?
    "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire2!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Starwind55 View Post
    It deals with a demon virus that transforms people into freaky looking fuckers

  2. #2
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    I am very traditional in my thinking and I prefer my husband to have the final say on all major decisions. I will give my input and opinions but I don't like to have the power to make the calls. This is not to say I won't tell him when he is making a bad decision or I won't decide on smaller things. I do have a backbone, I just would rather trust in his ability to make the best decisions for us and our future.

    On that note, I would absolutely want a say in the house we buy as well as decorating it. My husband knows this and is fine with it. I am thinking your wife wants to make sure you are happy and doesn't want you to settle to make her happy. I could be wrong. She seems very selfless in that regard. Maybe have her look at houses online, go on Trulia in your location and just let her browse. She is a woman and will likely point out things she likes about the houses when she sees it.

    You can also explain that you won't be happy if she doesn't have a say in this decision since the house is for both of you. There is likely a reason for this behavior that she may not even be aware of herself. Likely something she dealt with growing up. Have you ever met her mother? Maybe her mother was the same way and she learned this from her to be submissive and happy.

  3. #3
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    It's a shame that way of thinking is now deemed "traditional", as if it's a relic of some sort. Our culture may have changed, but our biology hasn't. Men are less emotionally driven and are thus better major decision makers, particularly under high stress. I think the two of us have been over this exact topic before on another thread so I won't harp on it but I always take this moment to mention that my wife and girls in general are faaaaaar more emotionally intelligent than I will ever be. Reading the vibe of people in a room, having a sense for decorating/creating an atmosphere, searching for consensus on all decisions...really just doing or analyzing anything that elicits emotion in others takes me far longer to navigate. Thankfully, good objective decision-making isn't about those things- but I definitely lose some fans in the process.

    This may all just come down to a "eh, all people are different" solution at the end of the day. There are so many variables between gender differences, personal history with being burned by choices, willingness to trust others, motivation, and even culture. In my case, I don't feel any comfort handing the controls over to someone else. It's not that I don't trust those around me, but I have a really good history of decision-making and if I don't need to hand control over I just don't. Plus, I think I surround myself with consensus seeking types.

    The whole moving house thing is so that we can live closer to my work, so I'm sure part of her consideration is for me as you said. The more I've thought about it, I think the extremes she takes this to can mainly be attributed to culture. While I like being the big, manly man of the house who calls the shots, she holds me 10000% responsible for all the shots I call and even the ones I don't (but should have). Her mom is/was the same way, good call. That's the thing with East Asian girls, they relinquish a lot of control but they expect you to be on your shit far more than other races/cultures in my extensive experience (lol). In her view, she gave up control but sees me like a personal stock broker or something...she can call me up anytime and complain about bad performance. I usually see it as "you didn't cast a vote, so you have no right to complain."

    Thanks for the input as always Korin, it's helpful to see things from the other side. Others are still very welcome to dive in on this, there are a lot of angles yet unexplored.
    "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire2!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Starwind55 View Post
    It deals with a demon virus that transforms people into freaky looking fuckers

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  5. #4
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    I prefer a balanced ratio of decision making. I wouldnt like it to get dragged around neither I like it to deal with someone who refuses to make any decisions.
    It depends for me also how good a person is able to make compromises or how often you disagree with each other.

  6. #5
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    I love the woman I've been with for 3+ years now to death. That being said, I can understand some of your frustration; I handle the money, I decide everything we do for the most part (I let her decide where we go for vacation...that's about it). She's stated that she's submissive and is perfectly happy being that way. We argue quite often due to this, and several other factors: the biggest being that we both grew up VERY differently. I was working, paying taxes and putting myself through college at 17, and she didn't move out of her mom's until she was 25. She will complain that she worked 40 hours this week and I, being the snarky guy I am, will say 'Oh yeah, I remember my first part-time job'... I've not had just one job since I was 18. She knows I'm kidding when I say these things but YES, your frustrations are well understood with me.

    I think the best thing you can do though is to empower her in small ways, especially if the workload becomes too much on you. I work three jobs, but one I do from home and I am slowly transitioning that over to something that she does exclusively (we are expecting - less than a month until our little girl is here!). Yes, initially I had to tell her to do this, do it this way and let me come behind you and check it. But now she can do a lot of it on her own, and I think that has given her more confidence to make other decisions.

    She battles with anxiety/depression on a daily basis. This makes doing even the most menial (but necessary) of tasks unbearable for her (dishes, laundry, general housework). I was taught growing up that people with these mental disabilities are just weak-willed lazy people, but it really has a lot to do with a person's sense of self-worth. Let her know that her input on decisions is the most valuable input you're going to receive, and then maybe she will be more inclined to provide said input.

    Just my experience, hopefully you can glean something from it!
    If you want to grant your own wish, then you should clear your own path to it. - Okabe Rintarou

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