... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

this week's tip | how to avoid the 'petty purchases' conflict

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Whether you're a young couple that's starting out in life like Will and I, or a couple that's on a budget; chances are, one member of the relationship wants pretty, new things more often than the other and feels the need to justify certain purchases from time to time.  In fact, this petty purchases conflict seems to be inevitable in most households no matter the relationship phase!

In our home, I'm usually the culprit or purchaser (surprised? I think not...) and my weakness and compulsion is things that make the house smell good, which are harder to hide than, say... a top (oh honey, I've had this for ages, you never notice! - sound familiar?).  I like to have a candle burning beside me whenever I write, read or have a bath and I light one at least once a week inside our wardrobe to keep our clothes smelling fresh.  Basically, Will knows the moment he steps a foot through the front door whenever I've spent money on fragranced candles, satchels or wax for the burners (especially if I change the scent!) and this is followed by a nice, lengthy conversation that goes a little like: "LENA!! Do we really need this right now? This is a rental for heaven's sake.  We're buying a house soon, you need to stop these petty purchases!"   :)

**My usual justifications include 'it's still cheaper than if I was a smoker,' 'studies have shown that clean smelling air is cleaner, period' and 'the place is old and smells bad without it.' **  - NB: I do not condone arguing!  Just saying.

I have found that his negative reaction is heightened when the house smells 'girly,' 'fuity,' or 'cakey.'  I also discovered, when I purchased a masculine-scented reed diffuser for his bathroom, that he didn't say a word about it!  Being a loving, caring wife, I decided to see if I could make him happier by switching out my favourite home scents for spicier, woodier, more masculine ones and, wouldn't you know it, I had positive results!  He definitely stopped complaining about me 'wasting money on things that smell like sh-' well bad!  And now he only grumbles when he notices a new (or different) candle standing on the coffee table or in my office - not the smell!

Now I've come to believe that you can avoid the petty purchases conflict (or decrease it at least!) by finding a balance between what you both like!  I'm lucky in the home scents department because there are so many fragrances available these days to please both male and female alike, but I believe with a little thought and experimentation, you can apply this to just about anything!  Maybe think about how the purchase is a good thing (does it increase your confidence etc) and convey that to your other half who may not understand.  Good luck!  I'd love to hear how it works out!  And I'd love to know what are some of your 'petty purchases?'      

1 comment

  1. Hi Lena ... I can quite understand your sentiments and well done on changing things slightly for Will .. making a fruit cake helps too!

    I was sent a present of some Christmas tea bags - which I left in the sitting room ... and could not understand where the Christmas cake, mince pie baking smell came from ... it took me a long time - but I eventually realised it was the tea bags ...

    Enjoy and good luck with the new house and all! Cheers Hilary

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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.

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