Frightening, isn't it? This is what Bob and I both turn into when we have to discuss the remodel. It's not pretty. Try as I might, anytime we talk about the house it gets ugly...fast. We always end up with something nice, but I feel like I have to fight....for....every.....little....decision. (Say the words slowly - make them sound painful - as if you are desperately clinging to a cliff, by your fingertips and you will start to get an idea of how I feel.)
To give you an example, 3 years ago we remodeled our kitchen. It's a kitchen, sitting area, desk, dining area all in one. I wouldn't call it a 'great room,' such as newer homes boast, but it dreams of being a 'great room' when it grows up. Anyway, I had in mind the color I wanted to paint this new room, Sherwin Williams Burlap (fabulous color). I purchased a test quart and painted a 2 foot square on the wall. Bob came home and said the color was awful. Over a couple of weeks I painted so many squares of test paint colors that local taggers were coming to admire my work. Although our checkered wall was artistic, I was frustrated! None of the colors seemed to please Bob and I still had my heart set on burlap. One day Bob walked over to our wall quilt, studied all the colors and said, "You know what? I really like this one here." He was pointing at Burlap...my very first choice. I wanted to dump all the other test quarts over his head. I said, as calmly as I could muster, "THAT is the very FIRST color I showed you!" "Oh - well, why didn't you just go with that to start with - instead of wasting money on all these other colors?" "Because you said you thought it was AWFUL!!!!" "Hm." he said and walked away. I proceeded to pull out another chunk of my hair.
The tricky part is that Bob tells me he doesn't care about the colors, carpet, tile, etc. Then when I show him what I have selected he will say something along the lines of, "That's what you chose?" Now I know you are thinking - don't ask his opinion if he says he doesn't care. But there are a few problems with that line of thinking: First, he shares his opinion whether I ask or not; Second, since it's his house, too, I want him to like it; and Third, I happen to be an obsessive people pleaser. It's a terribly annoying trait....one of the things I ALMOST learned in therapy is that not everyone will like me. It's a work in progress. Don't get me wrong - I am not a complete push over - I happen to be just as stubborn as he is - depending on the circumstance. Unfortunately, we haven't seemed to embrace the concept of compromise. I either cave, or no decision gets made, or I give up.....wait, is that the same as caving? It's only been 19 years - we're still learning how to get along.
I tend to pick small areas that I decide he will have absolutely no say in. For this project the area is light fixtures. I greedily relish every lighting choice. In my mind I think, "Hah! Look at this sparkly chandelier I chose. It will dangle over our bed FOREVER and there is nothing you can do about it!! Bwa-ha-ha!" Of course, he will most likely be oblivious to these triumphant moments - or I will endure snide little comments for 2 -3 years....but I don't care...I actually struck out on my own and made....A DECISION! (Isn't remarkable to think I run a business?)