Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Edging slowly closer to the frozen tundra
Re: What to do when your spouse lacks common sense.
This isn't a case of lack of common sense. It's a case of someone answering questions without thinking much about them. Most people do that - if someone asks a question that we don't think is important, we just say what's on our minds.
Lack of common sense is irrelevant if all it means is we don't take the shortest route to a solution. Heck, I'd been putting 8 more minutes on my commute every day than I needed to, until I got a GPS that showed me a different route.
Where it becomes a concern is if genuine problems could stem from it. My wife is hysterical about money...every penny spent is scrutinized and she remains convinced we're going to become homeless and die penniless. But we're actually in very good shape, our advisor said we didn't have to wait to 65 to retire, we could quit working at 45...but we didn't, so we've over-achieved. Money has never been a big deal to me, I just noted what it was good for, recognized that a happy life didn't need much, and figured out how to invest and get slightly above market returns. OK, money done, next? So, we are on a nest egg of 4X what we need...and wife is still loaded with anxiety.
So, I try to demonstrate that I'm not being a spendthrift, delaying things, doing a bit more DIY than I'd do otherwise...you do things to calm the spouse, right?
But then, she gets a phone call from someone she said "was obviously a scammer", but the woman sounded so sincere and in trouble and she stayed on the phone and did what the woman said to do to "fix the virus on our computer that is infecting the internet" and by the time I got home, she had yanked all the cables out of everything in fear. She'd given this woman complete access to the computer, meaning financial info. We spent months changing bank account numbers re-imaging the computer...about 50 hours total.
She heard an advertisement on the radio that claimed "moss will kill your roof in 30 days", and she noticed some moss. She's not about to use harsh chemicals, so she asked people what to use to get rid of moss. From people who had never done it, never worried about moss, had never studied what to do, she got the suggestion "Tide". She put many boxes on the roof, sprayed with water, scrubbed it in. This washed all the asphalt out of the asphalt shingles. She proudly told me what she did, I saw the black goo coming from the downspouts and thought "this can't be good", but I knew better than to say it.
First rain - the roof did not have a single leak. It basically had become a window screen. Literally thousands of rivulets of water pouring down through the roof. Wrecked the sheathing, soaked the insulation which then got moldy, caused ceilings in the house to sag. $18,000 for a roofing contractor to rip out the roof, replace insulation. I did the sheetrock repair myself. It was an entire summer of doing not much else.
If someone says "don't use that drug, it's deadly", she believes it immediately but if the veterinarian she pays $200/hour for says to use it, then there's money involved so it can't be right. We almost lost two of her favorite dogs over her refusal to use this or that drug. Both were elderly with failing immune systems. They declined far enough to require overnight stays, $5k each. There's been more than one salmonella infection because someone convinced her that "raw" was "natural" ... every single time she's given a dog raw chicken, it's been another $2k.
I don't care about the money - but she does. Each of these expenses increases her anxiety...I can't change her, but it's sad to see how much of her own anxiety she makes worse....and I'm working at trying to reduce how many hours I spend in recovery from these events.
By comparison to the OP of four years ago - I'd say he doesn't actually have a problem worth working on.