about Attack of the Redneck Mommy
Looking for something specific? SEARCH RNM.  
back to Tanis Miller

Furniture Wars: My Husband vs. Me

There are many things I love about my husband but his taste in furniture is not one of them. In fact, on more than one occasion, furniture shopping has almost lead to our divorce. I have happily threatened to beat him to death with cheap couch cushions on more than one occasion. He still twitches when ever he walks past an overstuffed sofa.

As he should.

When Boo and I moved in together, prior to marriage (because we were heathen sinners who didn't like having to commute an hour to see one an another to fornicate) we didn't have two nickels to rub together. Our home was filled with the not so lovely cast-offs my parents happily dumped in our laps. They happily handed us their old and saggy couches because we were doing them a favour. We were saving them the money it would cost them to haul their crap to the dump.

There was nothing terribly wrong with our free furniture, other than it was fantastically hideous and had been used as a trampoline by my siblings and I for more than a decade. Still, it was someplace to plant our arses and make out and since it was either the hand me downs or the floor, my soon to be husband and I graciously thanked my parents for their generosity.

I had no idea then that my husband was a furniture snob. Nor did I understand my husband's propensity and attraction for the ugliest furniture alive. I didn't learn that lesson until well after we married and we had enough scraped enough money together to buy our first pieces of brand new furniture.

Suddenly the agreeable and easy-going man I married morphed into a demon on a showroom floor. Nothing satisfied him, he picked everything apart and he became a penny pincher miser. He couldn't understand the value of picking out a quality piece of furniture that would last a lifetime when you could get something cheaper and uglier for less than half the cost.

After threatening to break down in tears, I finally gave in and let my husband decide on our new furniture as long as I could pick the colour. It was that or kill him but I couldn't stand the thought of sharing a bar of soap with gang of a manly looking women in our local prison.

That furniture didn't last long mostly because it was cheap I'm a raging shrew. After being swallowed alive by the cheap foam cushions more times than my heavily pregnant arse could stand I told my husband it was the couch or me. Since I still put out on a regular basis back then (heh) he wisely decided it was time for furniture that wouldn't send his wife into early labour.

Which meant round two in our furniture procuring journey. By now my husband learned the valuable lesson, you get what you pay for and was willing to pony up a little more money for something that wouldn't result in us paying for a chiropractor's child's university fund.

However, for as much as he'd grown in one direction he remained as obstinate and pigheaded in another. One couch after another, we couldn't agree. After visiting our fourth show room floor, I finally sat down and threatened to give birth on the most expensive couch I could find if he didn't start compromising a wee bit.

There is nothing like the thought of having to buy something expensive you hate because your wife's placenta rubbed all over it to inspire a man to cooperate.

That lead us to the furniture I'm currently sitting on. Ten years later and I loathe it as much as did when I first saw it being hauled off the delivery truck and into our home.

Welcome to my living room.

My back screams in pain every time I sit on them, there is a crater which my butt cheeks sink into and I can't stand the colour. I can't even blame my husband for their colour because it was my pregnant brain which decided dark navy blue fabric would be ideal for raising three children on.

There ought to be a law stating pregnant women should not be allowed to make any permanent expensive purchases when moments away from shooting a baby out their pooter. Just sayin'.

But my babies have wreaked havoc on the couch. I stupidly allow my children to sit on my furniture instead of banishing them to the floor like a smart adult would do and as such, the wear and tear on these pieces has forced me to start whining to my husband about needing new furniture.

The cushions are riddled with holes, mystery stains and more dog hair than what currently resides on my dog. It doesn't matter how often I clean the upholstery, these couches are well, gross.

I'm tired of flipping cushions and artistically draping throws on our couch whenever company comes over. Every day I stare at the holes in this couch arm and I lose a little bit more of my sanity. This ugly dirty blue couch is starting to suck my soul out. So I started campaigning for a new couch.

At first, my pleas fell on deaf ears. My husband has better things to spend his hard earned money on than a couch he'll only see once a month if he's lucky. However, I am persistent and after almost 14 years of matrimony, I've mastered the art of whining.

After a solid year of dropping hints about as subtly as bricks from the sky and scrimping to save money, I finally wore my husband down to agreeing to look at new furniture. Visions of couch sex and vibrating recliners danced through his mind all the way to the showroom.

(Don't judge me. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.)

There was one problem. I forgot about my husband's god awful taste in furniture and his penny pinching nature.

Round three at the furniture store has not been more pleasant than the previous dances.

My husband, well, he still likes ugly furniture.

I still have champagne tastes on a non-alcoholic beer budget.

And to make the couch choosing even more fun, we are on opposite ends of the upholstery spectrum. Boo insists on dark leather and I insist on a neutral fabric. He wants overstuffed and I want clean lines. He wants me to sell our children and animals to ensure the continued good health of our furniture and I'm still trying to add to the size of our brood.

Dogs. Children. Pot-bellied pigs. I'm not choosy, I just want more life under my roof to help chase away the death that constantly lingers.

In the end, and as always, it became a battle of the wills.

One which I think I lost. Again.

I'll find out tomorrow when our new couch arrives.

The new couch my husband wanted and I wasn't so keen on. But since he made the concession that it would be nice not to have furniture which makes us look like hillbillies and then coughed up the dough to pay for it,  I decided to take the bullet high road and just focus on the fact our new couch has no holes in it.


I may not have won the furniture picking battle but I won the war in the end.

Here's to not having to do this again for at least another ten to fifteen years. And if my darling children so much as fart on this new couch, I'm selling them on eBay.

(If you have any tips on how you managed to convince your spouse to agree to the furniture of YOUR choice, let me know. I'll file it away for future knowledge so that the next time we have this showdown my couches won't look like overstuffed brown turds.)

« Happy Birthday To Me! | Main | Stumped: How to Parent When Your Kids are Taller Than You »

Reader Comments (68)

Fortunately I have my husband convinced that he has no taste and that all furniture decisions should go to me. It was a long process having him come to that conclusion. You should get started :)

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAurelie

There's an old addage I live by when it comes to picking furniture with my spouse...

It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFire Wife Katie

Tip #1 - Leave them at home when it's time to furniture shop. Any version of taking them with you never turns out well.

Tip #2 - Choose husband well. (I did a MUCH better job on #2). The only comment that I got at said furniture store was "whatever you want". It was bliss!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I don't know, I think the threat of placenta clean-up was a pretty stellar argument. That said, slipcovers are my best friend when it comes to couches. Take 'em off, throw 'em in the wash. Buy new ones when daughter stabs them with scissors.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermosey

Wait a sec! My wife told me it is illegal for men to enter furniture stores ... could she have possibly made this up? And why?!!!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCanucklehead

Lol! I'm so glad picking out furniture isn't a weekly occurence. Luckily my hubby is pretty agreeable. It also didn't hurt that when we picked out our new couch last year, I was heavily pregnant and hormonal.

I agree with your choice plus I don't care for leather furniture. Whenever your not wearing pants, you have to peel yourself off of it. And who wants to wear pants. Maybe that could help your side. ;)

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElle

I just come home with whatever I want. It's better that way...LOL

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Crazy

Hahaha I'm still trying to convince my husband the woman is supposed to pick out the home furnishings maybe in 10 years when we pick out a new couch he'll let me decide.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

My husband generally defers to my taste eventually but gets to voice an opinion. Unfortunately, his choice on front room furniture leans towards those with commodious beefy armrests with built-in cup holders and ice chests. Children lean towards the recliners that stand up with the push of a button to facilitate standing. *sigh*

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbeachcomber

So, weirdly, we have the same ugly, awful blue couch. I would love to say that ours has fared well but lets just say it looks like a dirty version of yours. Fun, no?

We will be getting new furniture in the spring though. Come hell or high water. I caved this spring and we got a new DSLR but we really needed the couch. I hope by all things even remotely holy that we will be able to agree on something but I don't much see it happening.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

That furniture isn't THAT bad. Maybe I just have bad taste in furniture too? The ottoman coffee table thingie is fabulous, in fact.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnah

Oh I needed to read this today.

My fiance and I just got done going through our new apartment making a list of what we need when we get money and how we want to decorate.

I was under the impression since I am the woman I get to make all the decorating decisions. I didn't think men cared about this kind of stuff. Apparently he has other ideas. Very BAD ideas!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStormy

Good luck.

Alls I know is that I'd kill for a sectional sofa and my wife...well, she's got an aversion.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaddy Geek Boy

I have this good awful reclining woven love-seat that has both seat ripped out. The head resting area is forever stained about 5 shades darker than the rest of the sofa. Did I mention it's cream colored? We keep it covered by a blanket, all of it, otherwise you are sitting on stuffing. We tried the slipcover route but I was sick of moving the entire piece of shit daily to pull the slip cover in place thanks to everyone and their mother, ok maybe not the mother because I'm the mother, abusing the poor thing.

What scares me most is that when we finally get a new sofa, I think it's coming from a thrift store!

Hold me.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWalkingborder (Karen)

I would have said that while he is funding it i have to look at it every day. and that a firm sofa would help with picking up and putting down jumby hauling kids is hard work that hurts your back you need support for ones back! also, you wouldnt want to sleep on a over stuffed soft mattress you couldnt get out of would you?

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramy

Tip number one: Don't take the man to a show room. Choose two, maximum three, that you like at an agreeable price range and show him pictures. Let him choose one of those. He'll think he chose the couch, you will get a couch you like. I'm sure you can make him think he won by never needing to set foot in furniture showroom. :)

it was my love of having an abundance of life under my roof and the natural outcome of having that life combined with my back problem and the fact our room wouldn't accomodate the monster sectional he wanted that convinced my husband to let me pick the couches.

Charcoal Leather. Nothing cleans easier than a nice polished leather. And a deep reddish brown or charcoal hides the inevitable red clay stains.

The line of the couch is a bit of a compromise...it looks overstuffed (it's not). But the materials, size, and amenities (you do not get recliners when you can already put your feet on the table the TV sits on) were my decision.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBecoming-mommy

Oh, don't ask me. Currently my living room is without carpet while waiting to be painted. We have NO furniture in there, not a chair or a lamp, because our tastes are so different. I didn't even get to pick the paint color - we're doing it the same as our kitchen because he bought too many gallons when we did that.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkateanon

We have overstuffed brown leather reclining couches... They are in the 'kids room.' In my living room I have leather and microsuede. I love my upstairs couches :D The major downside to leather? Cat claws... Not cool at all.
Good luck!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Don't look at me, I'm single. I only took an infant shopping with me when I bought my couch. She didn't argue much about anything except wanting a nap.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMommieV

I'm pretty sure I had the exact couch in your photo. Truly.

Now I have brown couches. Light brown. The mirco suede that washes. With three kids it makes sense, but I despise it. One day, I will own a couch from Pottery Barn or someplace equally as pretty and expensive. One day. You know, when my children are grown. The boy turns two on Saturday...

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIssa

I love my leather couch. EVERYTHING wipes right off. Dog/cat hair does not weave itself in to become part of the fabric...

You could just take a lesson from my mother and buy furniture when he's not home.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Luckily my husband has similiar taste to me but the final decision on funiture is ALWAYS mine. He has the final decision on things like cars, lawnmowers etc.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ from Ireland

Well, I unfortunately still have cast off furniture. When my boyfriend moved in, he brought his adored leather furniture. I hate leather. It's cold, you stick to it, and when it gets old it looks like hell. However, when we arranged all our stuff, my crappy hand me down furniture is upstairs where guests and the world can see it and the leather is downstairs (in the super cold basement where I need to sit on a blanket on the couch because it is too cold to sit on as is). Why you ask?? Because we didn't want my two children wreaking it. It's ironic somehow, isn't it?

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

I got bupkiss for you, since I am sitting on an overstuffed beige turd. At least he didn't "have " to have the red and green lodge style fabric this time. Great for the holidays...not so great ANY OTHER TIME. You try sitting on Christmas for 10 years.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

1. I did not tell him I wanted new couch.
2. Waited untill he when to cabin to deer hunt.
3. Bought the one I wanted with money I saved
from the food budget.
4. Told him it was an early Chistmas gift.
( deer hunting is in Nov.)
5. Enjoyed !

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkay Kelly

Um...I did what any wife worth her salt does. I looked around for a red velvet couch and BAM. Not only a couch but a loveseat to boot on craigslist. Perfect condition and only $150. I sent them an email stating I wanted it and if they could deliver. Sent them my address and waited until hubby was asleep and drove to an ATM. When he got home the next day MY new couches in the living room.(But i have to admit it was a totally frivolous purchase and didn't take my children into consideration but hey...It was pretty while it lasted)

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

I told him a long time ago that his taste was all in his mouth, therefore the ONLY "room" he was allowed to decorate was the garage. Seems to have worked, LOL.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

I think the solution to your marriage AND furniture AND budget issues is a LazyBoy Furniture Gallery. No, I'm not joking. The key is not to shop for their furniture anywhere except in their own galleries, which offer much more than overstuffed marshmallow chairs with footrests. They have modern, clean lined, sectionals, traditional furniture--all sorts. And they have tons of custom upholstery options. Price range is in the middle and durability is through the roof for both cushions and upholstery. The first set of chairs I bought are 14 years old and still look awesome--two kids, three cats, and two dogs later. I have two of their sofas as well and we fight over who gets to flop where. They're so comfortable but don't look like amorphous blobs.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

After I put up the roman shades that I'd made myself, Kyle complained about the 1/2" gap that would allow a sunbeam to peek through and suggested that he would tape a strip of aluminum foil to the window.

I dropped an F bomb in front of my children and in-laws.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie @ The Mom Slant

Good for you. Yay for the vagina team! (Ooh, that actually sounds gross. Never mind that last statement.)

So, what are you going to sell on ebay? The couch? Or the kids?

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWinn

For the first 30 years of marriage, I picked out most of everything because TLW just wasn't that interested...now all the sudden...she has opinions..WTF?

I'm not adjusting well to all the green in the house being a blue fan and all...first the vote now this crap!


September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUP

When I was with the ex, I was pretty easy going when it came to furniture. He had way better taste and more money than me. But we were torturing ourselves at Ikea one Saturday (not by doing anything particular - just going there on a Saturday is torture) when he suggested this one hideous coffee table. I said no, absolutely no. I put my foot down for once.

He went to pay while I searched for a parking place in the loading zone. We loaded the car. We got home. Guess what he had gone back and bought? Yes. The hideous table.

There are about 4708 reasons he is the ex. That is one of them.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuebob

Yikes! You have it tough. My husband thinks furniture shopping is BORING. He would much rather put up with my choices than have to go through the agony of seemingly endless hours of shopping.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNeena

I don't know how it happened, but my wife and I have very similar tastes in most big ticket items. Paint colors, furniture, vehicles. It takes us no time to decide, and we very rarely regret it. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I usually say, "Yeah honey, that looks perfect." I guess I just trust her taste and judgment.

I don't know what to tell you about how to deal with a guy with strong opinions. Um, lower your standards until they align with his?

Anyway, as ugly as your blue couches are, your floors look gorgeous!

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbeta dad

Ok, I'm going to TRY not to go into a tirade here, but just because your husband works outside the house does not make the money HIS. I hate hate hate that attitude (at first I typed attidude! ha!) in men, and especially in women.

Next, you are the one who has to sit and look at this furniture. He is NOT HOME. The way I put it to my husband is that I LIVE IN MY PLACE OF WORK (which may not fly with your hubby, b/c it sounds like he does, too). I do not get away from my place of work, ever, unless we are on vacation. So, I have some leverage there.

Finally, I'm lucky b/c my husband and I have similar tastes. But I would not be beyond going and just getting something and figuring he can deal with it. If you don't give them a choice and its just here, they will prob. just be relieved they didn't have to go shopping.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Winn....I kind of like the name "Vagina Team" It will make the menfolk cringe so uncomfortably

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

I won by letting him have the basement. It's his mancave, which he can furnish with as many videogame paraphernalia and hockey jerseys as he likes. I let him choose the paint, the furniture, and the layout. I won the rest of the house.

September 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

I have three sets of brown furniture, one shiny leather set for the great room, a newbuck set for the master bedroom sitting area, and a micro suede set in the media room, guess who picked it out. You guessed correctly the husband, no woman in her right mind would buy three sets of brown furniture, I can't even move the furniture from one room to the other because they all look the same. I'm old I don't think we'll wear out the furniture before I die. I'm gonna die with three sets of brown furniture. Jeebus!

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAZ

Husband is so easy going in all other aspects, but furniture, not so much. His dad worked in a furniture store for 25 years, so Husband knows a lot about quality. Nothing is good enough for him but the most expensive, well built furniture. We have an IKEA budget. It just doesn't mesh. Never thought I'd be the frugal one....

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

I am not allowed to buy furniture again until the children have all left the house. We bought new stuff when my youngest was a baby, and the dog we had at the time deStroyed it. Like your stuff, it's dark blue and shows every cat hair ever bestowed on it. Even a fancy vaccuum doesn't get rid of that stuff!

We have talked, and though it won't be for another 10 years, next time we get furniture I will use this simple concept - I do the cleaning of the furniture, therefore I pick out what we get. Also? It has to match the color scheme of the decor around the room, because unless he wants a complete overhaul of the entire living room (and therefor spend MORE money), it has to match or compliment what's already there. I have safely managed to ensure black leather will never grace my living room. Brown leather, perhaps (think Ivy League Classic style), but not black and overstuffed, like a bad 80's man cave....heh

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCissa Fireheart

I rarely comment anywhere but THIS topic is close to home.
Here is my strategy to dealing with my wife and her furniture desires.
I take the devils advocate position until I am sure that she is REALLY sure of what she wants and then I just pay for it.
It better make her really happy.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

You are so young, young one. Be patient. By the next time it's time to get new furniture one of two things will probably have happened. One of the two of you will decide they just don't give a shit or he'll acquiesce to your wisdom.

I made the mistake once of carpeting our entire home in navy blue carpet. (I really should've put that crack pipe away before picking the color.) It was a baaad thing with multiple kids and dogs at home.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBodaciousboomer

Ooooh, that is easy... just go out and make the purchase while he is at work. That's what I did anyways, and had it delivered the next day... saves the drama for another day. lol

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarolyn

I'm seconding the floor and coffee table praise - both are gorgeous.

Having said that, my couch is a burgundy-dark teal-beige plaid with a narrow stripe of gold running all through it to keep it from being boring. I obviously should not be participating in a "What kind of couch should I buy?" discussion.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCountessa

I have great taste in furniture, so this is not an issue in our house. Come to think of it, I have great taste in everything. Living with me rocks.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermuskrat

Only thing I can say is MICROFIBER! So easy to clean. A couple weeks ago, my darling spawn dumped an entire 5lb bag of flour all over the house, including the couch, and then mixed in some juice for good measure. So basically I had some goopy doughy junk on my couch, which I've owned for 6 months. Let it dry, scraped the chunks off and ran a baby wipe over it. You'd never know it happened if I hadn't opened my big mouth. (Ssshhhh. My husband does not know about this incident.)

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany

I find that making him go to so many shops until there is smoke coming out of his ears works well - he gets so bored with shopping that I end up with what I want.
Although last time I bought something, I showed him a brochure, said "What do you think of that?" then when he grunted, I said "Good, because it arrives tomorrow!"

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter12ontheinside

My husband trusts my taste and doesn't have a problem with me just making the decorating decisions since I care about it more, but I have a cousin who was wrestling with your problem. I showed her how to find great things online, and suggested she simply narrow things down to just couches she liked, etc., and then ask her husband to pick among those. Less legwork, often better deals, and he still feels like he has a say. Could work!

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKorinthia Klein

Find something that is stunningly jaw dropping both in looks and price.

Plead, beg, grant amazing sexual acts (note, NOT favors - no expectations of returning the deed), bat your eyelashes, dangle your cleavage and insist that this is the ONLY furniture that will work. He will be emphatic that despite the head spinning satisfaction that you have supplied the stunning furniture is a no go.

Cry. Whimper. Then compromise. WITH THE FURNITURE YOU REALLY WANT!! Sweet man will acquiesce to your humble choice and he will "win".

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreenInOC

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>