How do you and your SO resolve impasses?

What do you do when you and your SO differ strongly as to a course of action. Especially if it concerns something not vital - something one of you “wants”, but the other really DOES NOT want.

Here’s my current situation - I’m thinking about buying a “hobby” car for nice weather driving. I would like to keep it in the garage, especially for the winter. Her biggest objection is that it would mean we would have one car parked in the driveway in front of our house.

We already have a minvan (my primary driver) and compact wagon (hers). We have a 2 car garage that we park both cars in. Our garage is at the front of the house, and our driveway is 2 cars wide and has a “turnaround” T-section.

She just has a very strong personal preference that we not routinely have a car parked in our driveway. I couldn’t care less. Neither of us is right or wrong, these are just our preferences.

We have discussed moving in the near future, and she has no objection to buying a home that has a 3-car garage, or a less conspicuous place to park the 3d car. But who knows if or when we will ever be able to sell our current house, and I don’t see this as a necessary reason to wait.

So if I don’t buy the car and just wait, I’ll be pissed. And if I buy the car and park my van in the driveway, she’ll be pissed. I’m looking into remote parking possibilities, tho I dislike what I see as the unnecessary expense and hassle involved.

How do you approach a situation where you and your SO are just at odds over a not-critical issue?

You won’t like it, but for us, each spouse has veto power over large, frivolous purchases. Of course, usually that’s because of the money concern… your wife’s reasons are different.
Are there any parking garages near you? Or any street parking available so the car doesn’t have to be in the driveway?

Tell her not to worry. That Corvair will be in the shop most of the time.

I am having a hard time imagining myself caring about a car parked in the driveway, unless it were the case that it would inevitably be my car and that I would therefore get to be rained and snowed upon so that my husband’s hobby car could stay clean and dry. Or if there were HOA regs involved which meant that we would have to pay fines and so on. I think that would hack me off. However, it seems clear to me that I am not your wife and I suppose somebody might care about that.

On not critical isses my husband tends to just do what he wants knowing that I will get over it and I usually talk him to death knowing that he will give in if I talk long enough. The key words of course are non-critical, neither of us is given to really sweating the non critical.

I expect that if my husband and I reached such an impasse I would either suck it up when I discovered the car in the garage or he would find a willing neighbor or friend with lower aesthetic sensibilities who would let him park his car at their house. I don’t think either of us has ever vetoed any plan the other had, at least I can’t remember either of us doing so. Seems like a bad idea to me.

But I am famously cheap so the notion of paying for storage for a hobby car while we have a perfectly good open space in the driveway would be a no go.

Just buy it already. Tell her I told you to make it a surprise. Put the blame on me.

It seems really random and ridiculous that she doesn’t want a car parked in the driveway. I assume you’d keep the project car in the garage, and park your daily driver in the driveway at night? If so, I personally think that its bizarre that she would have an issue with having a car in the driveway.

Yeah, this is how I feel. But she feels differently, and I cannot say her feeings are wrong.

Cash really isn’t a concern - altho we have 3 kids in college, I have a good secure income and things are looking good for her in her job search. And when/if we sell our house we should be able to realize some equity by buying something smaller/cheaper. But the fact remains, our net worth/savings will be decreasing for the next few years.

Since I acknowledge that a fun car is not a necessity, I am very interested in doing it as inexpensively as possible. So while we could afford a monthly garage payment, I inda feel that that is sort of her cost, since I don’t need/desire it. And having the car somewhere other than at our house will make it less convenient to drive at the drop of a hat. Plus, part of the fun of having a neat car is from just seeing it every time you go in the garage.

That’ll teach me not to jump to conclusions. I opened this thread assuming it would be about some trivial, middle class problem.

Us too, and my wife always has the final say about issues of aesthetics, particularly when it comes to the outside of the house.

But I don’t see this as a deal-breaker. I don’t see where yoour wife is objecting to the purchase of your hobby car per se, just that she doesn’t want a car in front of the house. And it’s not as if this is a car you need for transportation.

If it were my marriage (and I realize it isn’t) I’d find a place to park the car and visit it on weekends and holidays.

I’m sure I have any number of personal preferences that many folk would consider random, ridiculous, and possibly even bizarre. But IME characterizing one’s SO’s preferences in such terms generally does not contribute greatly to resolving differences! :stuck_out_tongue:

I walk to the train every day. She is at home, and drives to her part-time work. So she would be seeing the car parked there every day.

Her position is that she goes to considerable effort to make our home look nice, and in her opinion a great portion of that effort would be wasted if we constantly had a car parked out front.

One possibility I’m considering is driving my van to the train station where I can park it for $1.50 a day. Seems a waste of time, fuel, and money, but would get the van out of her sight during the weekdays. On weekends, I could park the van on the street around the corner if it really bothered her.

Another option is to see if my friend can lend me space in his building where I can essentially store the Corvair over the winter until things clear up in the spring.

It’s good that you have options, at least. Is the street parking option convenient and safe? A lot of people do that in our neighborhood. (Of course, everyone in our neighborhood parks in their driveways, too, so yours may be different. :slight_smile: )
I also don’t know how your wife works, but if it were my husband, and he just brought home the car like some people are suggesting, the resulting fight would be on a completely different level than any garage aesthetics dispute. There is absolutely no chance that I would just suck it up if he just bought the car.

I sulk, she cries, I give in: equilibrium restored.

If my SO and I were in the same situation I would think long and hard about why I didn’t want a car parked in front of the house and whether or not that was more important than his desire for a hobby car. Then I would probably give in with the caveat that you give a little when you get a little and ask him to do something to improve the beauty of our home (install new shutters or help me plant a garden or whatever) to make up for the eyesore on the street.

Whenever possible, we try to find “the third way” an alternate solution that eliminates the conflict.

Have you thought about selling your minivan? How often do you drive it anyway? Apparently you don’t need it to get to work, the kids are all gone, and you can put groceries in your wife’s car when the need arises. Even better, you can put the money towards the fun car, offsetting the frivolous expenditure. :slight_smile:

I appreciate the suggestion to explore creative options, but selling the minivan doesn’t seem to be a good fit. It is paid for, serves my needs - basically errands and golf, and is useful for taking kids to and from college. Tho I don’t drive much, I would want to keep the “fun” car inside most of the winter, out of the slush and salt.

(Just to clear up the high finances involved, the van and wagon are 7-8 year old Toyotas w/ ~ 70-80k on the clocks, and the “fun” car in question could be had for under $2500.)

I’m only going to push you on this one time and then I’ll drop it, I swear.

Do you play golf in the winter? If no, you don’t need the minivan for golf. How often do the kids come home with their stuff. For twice a year trips, (summer & fall) it’s easy enough to rent a larger vehicle as needed. Without their stuff the wagon will suit them fine. Do you have so very many weekend errands (in the winter only) that you cannot coordinate car use with your wife on the weekends?

I realize the car’s paid off and is good and reliable car. But that’s no reason to hang on to something you a)don’t need and b)is obstructing something you want.

Ok, I’m dropping it!!!

Actually, you make good points. Thanks.

Similar to those I have often posed to owners of trucks/SUVs - rent one on the rare occasion when you’d need one, instead of keeping it 24/7.

We went with only 1 car for a long time early in our marriage. It was very do-able, but when our income hit a certain point we decided the convenience exceeded the expense.

How do we resolve this type of impasse? One of us will give in provided there’s a trade-off. Like, OK, I won’t get the car now, but when we move, you agree not to veto a house with a 3-car garage if I like it. Or, she gives in and lets you get the car now and park the minivan in the driveway, but then you have to buy her that new washer/dryer she’s been ogling.

Or whatever.

And then you have make-up sex.

This was my thought as well. That way you’ll still just have the two cars and you will both (hopefully) be happy.

As for the question what we do when we have an impasse… Well, if it’s important enough to my husband and we can afford it and it’s not going to be a huge eyesore (I’m assuming you wouldn’t have the car up on cinderblocks in the yard in front of your house?), I usually leave it up to him. If it’s something that I know will really bother me, then we have to come to some sort of longer-term compromise.

If I think it’s a genuinely very bad decision and that even my husband will come to regret it, I usually just ask for a waiting period to see if the idea sticks. So if it’s still as important to him after a month as it was to begin with, and we can still afford it, etc., the decision is his.

Strangely, I don’t tend to have the same purchasing wants. Or when I do, it’s usually something for the home (patio furniture because we have none, a sideboard in the dining room or headboard for our bed are my current wants, which I have yet to act upon). Otherwise, I’m sure he’d have the same reaction to some of my purchases.

The no car in the driveway reason seems really flimsy, i think she really just doesn’t want you to buy the damn thing in the first place and that’s the best excuse she could come up with. I would try to figure out why she really doesn’t want you to do it rather than try to fix something that probably doesn’t really matter all that much to her anyways.