When “The Boss” Avoids Being the Boss

My wife’s indecisiveness confounds me. She is unquestionably my better half but she refuses to be the boss when it comes time to choose among equally viable options.

She readily shares her opinion and can quickly cast judgment on someone or something she does not like so it boggles my mind how difficult it is to get her to make a final decision. She can definitely tell you she likes things Her WayTM which, at times, helps reduce the number of options. However, if it is down to two or three choices she will avoid making a decison and begin alternating between why one may be better than the other ad infinitum.

I drive myself bonkers trying to simplify the choices and help make her options as black-or-white as possible yet she still finds some rationale for not being able (or refusing) to decide. It is true I have known this trait of hers for over a decade. She routinely gives me the “So what? Deal with it.” look when I go on my tirade about how I am frustrated by her unwillingness to make the call. I know I am in for a treat whenever I feel compelled to utter those harrowing words, “So, what do you want to do? Make a decison.”

While planning our wedding I would at times have to force her to make decisions by refusing to give any idea how I was leaning or which option I preferred. I figured I had already expended enough energy to set up the pins so all she had to do was knock one down. Nowadays, her indecisiveness is around major topics like meal/restaurant selection and decorating.

I have started to wonder why we are wired so differently and began to notice some interesting patterns. She majored in business and I in electrical engineering & computer science. She is good at following hunches to identify good and bad opportunities and I would rather let the data and facts guide me. I am accustomed to breaking complex problems into manageable pieces and focusing my attention at the low level until the complexity disappears. She prefers avoiding the minutia focusing instead on the big picture with questions like, “What are we ultimately trying to decide here?” and “Why is this important again?”

To her credit there is one aspect of our lifestyle where she demonstrates unwavering, resolute decision making ability: Travel. I become Bargain Basement Barney looking for deals, “hook-ups” and justifications. Let me just say my wife can spend some money on travel & vacationing since she likes things Her WayTM. She is the Queen of Kings in that domain. It is her sole vice which I have known about since day one and she lets me tag along so I cannot really complain.

Keith

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