I like making plans whether they're short term or long term (> 6 months). Always have. My wife, however, tends to "forget" about plans we had already discussed and gets upset when I try to stay true to them.
We bought a fixer upper house 2 years ago and made plans for improving it. I created sketches, Trello board project tracker, and sometimes even 3D designs just for fun. Before doing all that, I tend to stare at what it looks like before and talk about the changes with my wife. At the time, she's just as excited about it as I am and gets super excited. I sometimes randomly bring it up every other week or month until we finally do it.
Problem is, she completely forgets about all of our plans right before I start executing them and acts upset when I try to refute her change of plans instead. She's surprised that we ever talked about them and doesn't believe me sometimes, despite multiple conversations, written records, and multiple models for it months in advance.
A few examples:
- I wanted to add small dividers to part of our backyard with small white rocks. I tell her, she agrees. A few weeks later, I begin ordering the materials and she talks about using wood chips instead with a completely different design. Fine, we got with it but we're too busy to order the different materials I didn't have in mind so we postpone it. A week later, she doesn't agree with her own plan and wants to change it again.
- I decided to create a large floating TV frame for our living room with matching cubbies underneath and dedicated place for the sound bar. I make the frame shortly afterwards and decide to wait for the cubbies as we're busy with work. Once I want to start ordering them, I run it through her and she's surprised by it and decides to change the layout completely as well as colors, implying I'm lying when I said I had already told her about it despite having drawings for it on record.
- We find a cool design for an entryway on Pinterest and decide we want to do it in the future. A year later, I finally get to work on it and begin planning the materials needed. However, she then asks why I'm doing it that way and suggests a completely different way as if she completely disagrees with the original idea. I hesitate and she gets mad.
- She finds a cool bedroom design and shows it to me. I love it and save it for next year. We slowly build towards it and slowly prepare certain elements. When we get to the core parts like giant folding patio door on the wall or pillars with storage, she suggests french doors instead and getting rid of the pillars as unnecessary despite being low on storage and having shown my desire for the folding door on a monthly basis. I ask why she changed things and she acts surprised she ever agreed to the previous idea.
This extends to other things like helping out my parents find a place or having kids at a certain age and many more things. It's very frustrating for me. I do my best to accept her changes but it seriously demotivates me to even work towards any changes when she changes her mind at the last moment. What hurts the most, however, is the fact that she acts surprised we ever discussed it and shrugs off my statements when I mention it.
What can I do to have her recognize and honor plans we already made and worked towards?
I already keep text records but those aren't much help. Having her sign written contracts for it sounds overkill. I already tried asking her about it but she says things like "So we're not supposed to evolve?", implying that the plans are outdated and better methods are available. However, it feels like she's just changing things for the sake of changing things. If I mention why her changes are objectively worse than the original we had already agreed on, she simply gets upset at which point I go elsewhere to avoid further conflict. Her family has a history of altzheimer's but we're both in our early 20's. Perhaps executing those plans right away before she changes her mind would help, but I don't have the time for that.