Choose Your Spazzes

We had barely started our road trip yesterday when Josh went into a gas station and bought a snack. My instinctive response was dismay. It did not matter that it was less than $2.00, it was almost $2.00 wasted!  Gas stations are not the place to buy food.

I had no intention of actually saying anything or trying to change Josh in this area. After all, he is extremely patient with my quirks and would let me have whatever I wanted (other than for us to never spend any money whatsoever). And we all know that one must choose one’s battles wisely.

But not saying anything is not the same thing as not thinking anything.

And so I thought. And after a bit of thinking I realized that it was possible that Josh might waste $10.00 during the course of our trip. And we might possibly take one or two trips a year over the course of our marriage, so this could add up to $1,000.00. One thousand dollars.

Suddenly my internal spaz attack was even more laughable. I could be horrified each time Josh “wasted” money, or I could agree to lose $1,000.00 in order to have Josh feel happy and not deprived for the rest of our life together. How could I resist such an obvious bargain?

It was not as if this internal negotiation changed anything in reality. Josh was going to buy overpriced granola bars whether or not I was secretly dismayed. But thinking through the issue allowed me to realize how silly it was to even care. I need to do more than choose my battles, I also need to choose what is worth any internal emotional agony.

What obvious lessons about relationships have you had to learn for yourself?

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6 thoughts on “Choose Your Spazzes

  1. tiphaine

    hahaha I had the SAME interior debate!! and then some more, as there are many ways to spend money in this world.. I decided on two things: like you to choose my battles, and to make my husband aware of how I feel about money, how little things add up… Every time I can I also redirect his money spending drives.. Anticipation and alternatives:
    I always have an apple in my bag for snack, if we didn’t plan to eat out and we suddenly want to I choose the place (something small and easy, or a sandwich, not a fancy expensive place) and so on and so on..

    1. Rae Post author

      Good points! For me it has been about finding balance. So I bought snacks at the grocery store the day before the trip, but it is not possible to always correctly anticipate what my husband might prefer ahead of time. And in general he is really good about accommodating my need to spend less.

  2. That Married Couple

    This is great, because I can totally relate! My husband packs a lunch most days, but at least once a week he goes out for lunch and a couple times a week he’ll stop at an expensive grocery store to buy some prepared food. I hate that he spends money on that! But I’ve realized I can’t be too upset at him going out for pizza once a week when he often invites me to join him for a lunch date, and the prepared foods he buys are healthy things like salads and veggies (and if I really don’t want him to do that, I can prepare that stuff ahead of time for him). Anyway, like you, it took me a while to realize that not only do I need to pick my battles, but there are some that I just don’t need to waste the energy thinking about.

  3. Kacie

    Hah, oh man…. I’ve so had to keep my peace on the road trip food issue. Isaac specificially does NOT like it when I pack food, because he just loves eating out on road trips. So, I made peace with that idea and just bring food for myself sometimes. But then… he always buys pop and candy at every gas station stop. He must. No way around it. Drives me crazy, but I no longer argue about it. Same thing as the fact that anytime we eat out anywhere, he’ll get a large Dr. Pepper. So bad for him. Still. If he’s going to change, it has to be him deciding to change, because me nagging doesn’t help.

  4. Dawn Farias

    I have you all beat as I agreed for my husband to buy a sport car last year. I’ve been married longer, though, so it’s probably only fair that my concession was so much bigger. The principle remains the same, though:

    I could be horrified each time Josh “wasted” money, or I could agree to lose $1,000.00 in order to have Josh feel happy and not deprived for the rest of our life together.

    Only multiply the $1,000 by many. And substitute Ariel for Josh. To be fair, he bought a used one and got a really good deal at that. And he Still, after a year.

    (And yay! I get to check the notify me of follow up comments box! Thanks, Rae!)

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