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#2222597 - 03/01/09 08:00 PM How to handle procrastination without nagging?
annasnewlife Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 715
Loc: Iowa
I've been married for 5 months and for the most part it's going very well. I knew my husband was a procrastinator before we married as I'd find piles of unopened mail and unpaid bills at his house; however that problem was fairly easy to solve after we got married. He agreed to have his paycheck direct deposited in a joint checking account and I'm responsible to pay the bills; and so far that's worked well. I think he was even relieved not to have to deal with the money and I enjoy doing it.

He procrastinates on household jobs too; but I"ve learned to be patient and he does get them done within a few days of me asking, so I just work on myself not to be impatiant. However, we have one situation that is becoming a problem and I need ideas on how to deal with it. When we married, we each owned a house. He decided to move to mine to keep my kids in their school and because he likes it better. We agreed to put his up for sale. He procrastinated for weeks on getting his house cleaned out until I finally insisted we go there (about 75 miles away) and get it done. It was an unpleasant weekend, but we got it cleaned out. He then procrastinated about getting a realtor, until I finallly contacted one myself. Meanwhile, the utility and mortgage bills have been piling up because we really can't afford two homes. I had hoped he would have started on the selling process while we were engaged; but he didn't. Then, fortuately, a neighbor of his called about buying the house for his son. That was great, but they were very vague about when and how much and still my husband procrastinates on calling them and asking for a down payment, when they can take over utilities, etc. I hear they have been doing some work on the place; but we have no legal agreements and my husband keeps putting it off. Meanwhile, the utility companies are threatening to shut off utilities and the bank threatens to foreclose. When I ask my husband to call the people and get arrangements made, he gets irritated and tells me not to nag. Suggestions?
_________________________
3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20

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#2222607 - 03/01/09 08:15 PM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife]
CWMI Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/08
Posts: 5437
Are these things you would be willing to handle yourself? Deal with the people who want to buy (have they already moved in?), draw up a lease agreement or get with the realtor to push purchase papers through? I don't see any upside to ignoring it just because it was not your house, and if you can solve the problem by doing it yourself and only requesting signatures from your H, then why not?

There is a downside to doing it yourself, and that is setting yourself up to be the one who handles everything in the future. But you knew you married a procrastinator, so I imagine you sorta expected that. \:\)
_________________________
Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)

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#2222613 - 03/01/09 08:27 PM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: CWMI]
annasnewlife Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 715
Loc: Iowa
The guy buying the house is a high school classmate of my husband's and I don't even know his name or phone number. I haven't directly asked my husband for them as I think he'd be a bit sensitive that I would be insinuating he can't handle it. I have offered to get the lease or contract agreement once he and the buyer/renter decide what exactly they are going to do. He just needs to talk to the guy! I think he procrastinates because he doesn't like making decisions; such as how much money he wants and when; and then making them accountable to that.

I do expect in the future that i"ll be handling any legal/financial matters that come up for us as a couple and I'm ok with that. We're actually very compatable that way as he's the easy going people person and I"m the one who's more driven to have everything done right, paid on time, etc. He does appreciate me for that as I've paid off several past due accounts he had in just the last few months.
_________________________
3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20

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#2222620 - 03/01/09 08:39 PM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife]
catperson Offline
Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 11245
Unfortunately, you are stuck with a procrastinator. They don't change. And you can't afford to 'teach' them on the important issues. Either you agree to be the 'adult' on important issues, or you split up. There is no other way.

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#2222688 - 03/01/09 11:27 PM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife]
Happy2CU Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 429
Hi Anna,

When my husband procrastinates about something its usually:

- he likes the idea but lacks the energy to follow it through right now
- he's afraid he won't be able to do a good job
- he thinks it needs to be done, but its a soul-suckingly boring task

If selling the house is a task that you think you wouldn't mind undertaking, the thing to do is to offer to do the job without destroying his pride.

How about "I know you have a lot on your hands with the job and everything you do for us. I know that you will get the house sold, but I'd really like to help. I feel like we are both in this together, and I'm pretty good at this sort of stuff. Would you mind if I called your friend to see if he's still interested in the house?"

If he really doesn't want to do it, he might let you take over the task. The thing is, he doesn't want to feel like an idiot for not getting it done.

If the above doesn't work then I would let him know that he's taking a chance not only with his income but with yours if he doesn't sell the house, or get some renters in there. Catperson can tell you a horror story about that situation.

You guys are in the early married stage and it takes a while I think before you start pulling as team instead of in two separate directions financially.

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#2222760 - 03/02/09 06:05 AM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife]
Lucks Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/99
Posts: 7298
 Quote:
they were very vague about when and how much and still my husband procrastinates on calling them and asking for a down payment, when they can take over utilities, etc. I hear they have been doing some work on the place; but we have no legal agreements and my husband keeps putting it off. Meanwhile, the utility companies are threatening to shut off utilities and the bank threatens to foreclose.


Wow. Contracts and money exchanged should have occurred before they started working on the house. Is the house still insured? If they get hurt, it's your H's responsibility.

The bank threatening to foreclose and utilities at shut-off point mean some pretty hefty fines, and good credit becoming BAD credit.

 Quote:
When I ask my husband to call the people and get arrangements made, he gets irritated and tells me not to nag.


Ugh. Tell him honey, even if I never mention it again, these problems are only going to escalate. I am willing to orchestrate it since it appears you don't want to deal with it. So which will it be? You get this done within [certain amount of time] or I take care of it? I don't mind doing it, but the doing nothing while the situation gets worse for both of us is intolerable to me....HELP me by letting me do it....

Foreclosure means his friends probably won't get the house. Then they will sue him for the work they've done. Lost house, lost friends, upset wife.
_________________________
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.

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#2222799 - 03/02/09 07:57 AM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: Happy2CU]
Soolee Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 5234
 Originally Posted By: Happy2CU
Hi Anna,

When my husband procrastinates about something its usually:

- he likes the idea but lacks the energy to follow it through right now
- he's afraid he won't be able to do a good job
- he thinks it needs to be done, but its a soul-suckingly boring task

If selling the house is a task that you think you wouldn't mind undertaking, the thing to do is to offer to do the job without destroying his pride.

How about "I know you have a lot on your hands with the job and everything you do for us. I know that you will get the house sold, but I'd really like to help. I feel like we are both in this together, and I'm pretty good at this sort of stuff. Would you mind if I called your friend to see if he's still interested in the house?"

If he really doesn't want to do it, he might let you take over the task. The thing is, he doesn't want to feel like an idiot for not getting it done.

If the above doesn't work then I would let him know that he's taking a chance not only with his income but with yours if he doesn't sell the house, or get some renters in there. Catperson can tell you a horror story about that situation.

You guys are in the early married stage and it takes a while I think before you start pulling as team instead of in two separate directions financially.


Anna...I think Happy has a good assessment and solution to your situation. I think it's worth reading again and giving consideration. \:\)

The objective is to get this done while allowing him to still retain his dignity and pride. I would try to gently oversee this but involve him with choices.


Edited by Soolee (03/02/09 08:03 AM)
_________________________
Sooly

"Stop yappin and make it happen."
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

Me 47
DH 46
Together for 28 years.
Married 21 years.

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#2222864 - 03/02/09 09:57 AM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: catperson]
dkd Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 858
Loc: Texas
 Originally Posted By: catperson
Unfortunately, you are stuck with a procrastinator. They don't change. And you can't afford to 'teach' them on the important issues. Either you agree to be the 'adult' on important issues, or you split up. There is no other way.


I kind of disagree with this. I don't think it's a completely unchangable situation, but agree that you can't let issues of this importance fail because it's a teaching situation.

My W and I are/were similar to the two of you in them in that I was the one who was on top of things financially, while she was disorganized and didn't typically want to deal with it. On the other hand, she was more outgoing while I prefered to be more antisocial. When we got married, we recognized this but wanted to be able to help each other grow in the areas where we were weak. It didn't work out that way as we didn't put enough effort into it, and the result that we both resent each other in various ways, both for having to carry the load for the other and for having the load carried for us. We felt both taken for granted and that the other didn't have any faith in us.

The reality is that both of us can be and should be competent both socially and financially on our own and shouldn't use each other as a crutch. Marriage shouldn't be an excuse for not being a complete person.
_________________________
Me 38
Divorced 8/09
DS 10,6
DD 4

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#2222917 - 03/02/09 10:52 AM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: annasnewlife]
Lucks Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/99
Posts: 7298
Anna - Maybe he doesn't know what amount is appropriate. Afraid to ask too much/too little?
_________________________
Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.

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#2223128 - 03/02/09 03:53 PM Re: How to handle procrastination without nagging? [Re: catperson]
annasnewlife Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 715
Loc: Iowa
 Originally Posted By: catperson
Unfortunately, you are stuck with a procrastinator. They don't change. And you can't afford to 'teach' them on the important issues. Either you agree to be the 'adult' on important issues, or you split up. There is no other way.


I'm not trying to change him.....as you said, it's not possible. I'm looking for ways to approach him that will work positively for our relationship, not degenerate into a fight or cause resentment. In this issue, it's a little more difficult for me to just take over and do it myself as I think alot of his ego might be tied into this house....it was the first house he owned and he's had it for 7 years. I don't want to step on his toes, nor do I have any legal rights as far as signing papers, making deals, etc.

As to splitting up, this is nowhere near a deal breaker. We'll get through it one way or another, but I'd rather it didn't turn out to be a legal and financial mess. My husband has a thousand good qualities for this one bad one.
_________________________
3rd marriage to an awesome wonderful man since 2008.

3 children from first marriage, ages 16, 18, 20

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