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To be so pissed off? DH's inability to make a decision...

(30 Posts)
ShatnersBassoon Sun 28-Jun-15 17:25:00

...has ruined a surprise for me that I would have been genuinely touched by.

I'm soon leaving a voluntary role. One of my colleagues sneakily took DH to one side and told him that they were going to surprise me with a voucher as a leaving present, and wondered if there was any particular shop that would be best. He said he didn't know. So he asked me, after explaining what they had planned sad. He said he really couldn't think of anywhere and, "Well you must have known they'd get you something!" It wouldn't even have crossed my mind.

I'm an easy to please person. The voucher is not going to be for a very large amount, so no risk of ending up with loads of vouchers for a shop I wouldn't class as a favourite. Why the fuck couldn't he just tell them a couple of shops that everybody goes in, like Boots or M&S, or suggest a book token if he really couldn't think of a single shop? Or go away and have a think about it inside his head? sad. It's a lovely thing for them to do, and I feel so pissed off with him for raining on their parade.

He has a long and steady history of this. Just yesterday he had to get me to deal with a tree surgeon because he couldn't decide whether it would be best to follow the man's advice and take a dead tree out of the garden confused.

I feel so exasperated every time he says "I don't mind," or "You choose." I'm not a control freak, I long for him to take the reins for a bit. I often pull him up on his deferring to me, and tell him it makes me cross. I think it's laziness that makes him this way; why think when someone else can think for you?

Topseyt Sun 28-Jun-15 17:45:17

It is CBA behaviour (can't be arsed).

Some men seem pretty good at it. My DH used to be, but is greatly improved in recent years, I am glad to say. Just have to keep on about all of those DIY jobs that he starts and somehow forgets to finish. angry

ShatnersBassoon Sun 28-Jun-15 17:50:21

Yes, CBA seems about right.

haveabreakhaveakitkat Sun 28-Jun-15 17:50:38

Annoying but not the end of the world. Just practice your 'surprised' face for when you're presented with the voucher

As for the other things- sounds like he values your opinion. It doesn't bother me if dh asks me for my opinion. We tend to make all big decisions together.

ShatnersBassoon Sun 28-Jun-15 17:52:38

I tend to make all big decisions alone.

I know it's not a disaster from which I'll never recover, but I feel so annoyed that he didn't think of anything but making his life a tiny little bit easier by spoiling something for others.

pasturesgreen Sun 28-Jun-15 19:02:37

This is exactly the type of thing my Dad would do without a second thought, he'd actually think he'd be doing my Mum a favour by asking her first.

Try not to let it bother you too much, it was almost certainly done with good intentions. And as haveabreak said, practice your surprised face!

LindyHemming Sun 28-Jun-15 19:14:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

barbecue Sun 28-Jun-15 19:21:26

It's not necessarily laziness, it might be a fear of getting things wrong. Have you asked him why he finds decisions difficult?

I agree with haveabreak, it sounds like he values your input.

ShatnersBassoon Sun 28-Jun-15 19:40:50

Yes, he certainly does value my input. I think this one thing has tipped me over the edge because I feel like he's dampened somebody else's kind thoughts when there really was no need to.

I'm a bit tired of feeling like I'm spoon feeding him. It's not like me to get to the point where I need to vent, and I know I sound like a dick. This has bothered me so much because it's friends, even though they'll never know it.

viva100 Sun 28-Jun-15 20:04:29

YANBU for being pissed off at having to make all decisions in your house. Marriage is a partnership. But in your case it isn't - your 'partner' is dumping all the responsibility on you because he doesn't want it. Having to make all decisions yourself is draining. I'd do something about it now. Make it clear he needs to step up. And he's an arse for ruining such a lovely little surprise hecause he was too lazy to think of a shop.

That being said, I have no patience for that type of people and I wouldn't have married one so I'm probably being a bit harsh.

NormaStits Sun 28-Jun-15 20:57:23


To the people saying 'he values your opinion', there's a difference between someone seeking your opinion and someone never making a decision. I live with the latter and it is fucking exhausting. The weight of responsibility lies solely with you, sometimes you don't want to do all the thinking. Some decisions aren't ones that even affect you but they still ask you to make them. Even simple ones like 'what should I have for my lunch?' make you feel stabby when asked often enough.

OP, with the vouchers, try to look at it positively - you've been able to pick them so you know you'll be able to buy something you want with them. It is shit of him though, it's not like they were even asking him for specific gift ideas, just 'what shops does she shop in?', it's fairly basic. He could have sneakily looked in your clothes for the labels even!

ShatnersBassoon Sun 28-Jun-15 21:30:27

That's exactly how I feel Norma, tired of thinking for everyone. I want some things to happen with no input from me.

DH asked if I thought he should get screenwash in the pound shop earlier. I don't know if he wants someone to share the blame with if the decision turns out to be bad, but pound shop screenwash?! How big a regret could you possibly have?confused I make dozens of decisions of similar importance on my own every day and manage the uncertainty.

Icimoi Sun 28-Jun-15 21:39:14

I have one or two friends like this. I find it quite restful, I now work on the basis that if they won't make a decision we will always do what I want to do. They seem perfectly happy with that, even if it does result in me being outstandingly selfish grin. However, I can see it would get seriously annoying if it was all day every day and extending even to such simple decisions as where to buy screen wash from.

ethelb Sun 28-Jun-15 21:42:37

I feel your pain. With my DH it is a self esteem and a fear of being wrong issue.

It comes from his parents who literally spend days deciding what to do, coming up with imagined reasons of why things wont work and then not doing anything anyway. They spent 18 months endlessly deliberating buying a Kenwood mixer before finally deciding against it. They have been planning on moving since I me them seven years ago but have done literally nothing about it confused

They are also absolutely horrible about anyone who makes a decision that doesn't go entirely to plan. And considering they are extremely nit picky that is most decisions ever made. Visits are painful and our recent wedding almost tipped MIL over the edge (we weren't the only ones who suggested counselling in the run up).

That doesn't mean it isn't entirely exhausting and I dread and put off big decisions i.e. financial, housing, life etc as I simply cant deal with the fall out.

My sympathies. I end up getting very cross over the trivialities too, as I am so exhausted by taking the weight of all big decisions.

ShatnersBassoon Sun 28-Jun-15 21:57:43

A lot of this is ringing bells. DH's parents stagnated years ago and are stuck in an inconvenient and inappropriate home with an inappropriate vehicle because they can't muster the energy to make a choice about their future. They love nothing more than other people's failures, especially people who choose to do things outside of their experience.

This has been very cathartic. Thank you everyone for not being too harsh on me. It was only the adrenaline of anger that made me brave enough to start an AIBU!

headinhands Sun 28-Jun-15 22:02:42

I'm guessing it's a lot about your dh's failure to appreciate the spirit of the exercise. Some men adopt a passive-aggressive 'but I never get anything right' type justification for letting their partner bear the brunt of the cognitive work.

WorkingBling Sun 28-Jun-15 22:09:54

Yanbu. That kind of behaviour drives me absolutely batty! It probably is insecurity but that doesn't make it less irritating. I know a man who can be a bit like this with his wife but to be fair to him, she does get very impatient with him if he makes decisions that are different to hers. So he finds it easier not to do it and then she gets cross.

It doesn't sound like you are like that so I think personally you should tell him to step up. Even if it's something small that is now 100% his responsibility. Whatever you choose.

Do you have kids? If not, it's going to drive you crazy when you want to leave the kids with him!

ShatnersBassoon Sun 28-Jun-15 22:15:35

Yes, years of child-rearing behind us!

He hasn't always been this way. In the distant past he could book a surprise weekend away, book a table in a restaurant of his choice, go to the supermarket without a list...

PuntasticUsername Sun 28-Jun-15 22:31:49

YANBU. You say he hasn't always been like this - can you pinpoint any particular time or incident that might have caused the decline? Someone I know had their confidence seriously knocked when they made a bad decision at work and there were Consequences, and now he looks for guidance and direction on every single little thing.

Without wanting to sound critical or accusatory - if you want to change this, you could look at ways in which you might have fallen into the trap of enabling him, by going "Fine, fuck it, I'll just decide then". Then try and work out what you can do instead to support him in regaining confidence in his decision making. Eg with the dead tree - you could talk through the pros and cons, ask him to voice his views before you state yours, remind him that there probably aren't any too dreadful consequences either way, reassure him that whatever happens, you're a team and you'll fix things together etc etc.

barbecue Sun 28-Jun-15 22:41:11

Presumably he isn't doing this to deliberately annoy you. So there must be some reason why he's so afraid to make decisions. Have you asked him why he finds decision making so hard?

ShatnersBassoon Sun 28-Jun-15 22:53:22

I have asked, and he says he doesn't know he does it, and that he must have just got into an unconscious habit. I don't think there has ever been an event that would lead him to totally doubt his own judgement. It was certainly a gradual change.

PuntasticUsername Sun 28-Jun-15 22:58:33

Does he know how much it's bothering you? If not, perhaps it's time to make that clear.

ipswichwitch Sun 28-Jun-15 22:59:57

DH was a bit like this. He has confidence and self esteem issues - no surprise really since his DM would always question every little decision by saying "what you doing that for?" with a little head tilt that screams "well I think you're making a massive mistake there". She had started doing that to me, and when I found I was doubting myself (never been an issue for me before!) I started giving her the most outrageous answer I could think of, so now she doesn't bother me anymore.

It can be immensely draining to always having to be the thinker and decider. We reached a compromise - if DH won't even make a simple decision regarding dinner for example, and leaves it to me he can't complain if the end result isn't what he wants. It's not fair to place the burden of decision making on someone then whinge about it if it goes wrong/ isn't what you really wanted. Since we started operating like this he had actually started to make more of his own decisions and not think every wrong decision is a catastrophe. He also discusses less with his DM so there is less opportunity for her to sow the seeds of doubt.

junebirthdaygirl Mon 29-Jun-15 09:46:40

Unless we are aware of what we are doing we can quickly grow into our parents as we get older. Think we swear we won't be like them and do everything to be different hence your dh being decisive earlier but gradually we fall into well known patterns unless we stay alert. Also my dh suffers from depression and when in a bout he can't make a choice to save his life. He used to head up a company deal with major decisions at a moments notice but depression has robbed him of that.He also has become more and more like a blend of both his parents as he has got older .All stuff they did that drove him mad. Enjoy spending your vouchers.

Buffyitout Mon 29-Jun-15 09:56:55

OP YANBU. My mother did EXACTLY this when my DH tried to book something for my big birthday. She didn't see that are was completely spoiling the surprise. Surprises are her idea of hell as she has to control everything. She also dithers and refuses to make decisions and throws in curveballs when I say I want something done a particular way. It's bloody exhausting.

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