Does your relationship feel fundamentally unfair?
I’m referring to how much you do, compared to how much your partner does, when it comes to running a household.
Maybe you think it’s unfair because you’re handling so much more of the nitty-gritty of family life, while also trying to have a career and a personal life.
Granted, maybe your partner does help out here and there. Maybe they pick up the groceries a couple days a week. Play with the kids after work or help them with homework. Fix things around the house when needed. Run a vacuum when the carpet starts to look grubby.
But you’re the one who handles most aspects of married and family life that at times, can’t even be quantified.
For example, you’re the one who has to set aside mental energy to figure out what needs to be done around the house. Where are the spiderwebs forming on the ceiling? What’s going on the grocery list, or what will be for dinner tonight? Will you have time to cook something or will you have to pick something up on the way home. And if so, what?
None of these things even seem to concern your partner. It’s not even on their radar!
Meanwhile, you’re the one who has to remember to buy and send out holiday cards every year or to send flowers to your mother-in-law on Mother’s Day. You’re the one who has to plan your kids’ birthday parties or know when to schedule their dental appointments and physicals.
You’re the one who takes time off work more often to stay home with the kids when they’re sick.
Most of the time, you handle these responsibilities without even thinking about it. It’s something that has to get done, so you do it.
But then there are times when your to-do list feels like it’s going to crush you.
We can all relate to how overwhelming life can get, especially when your job gets stressful, or when you’re not feeling well, or on a day when the kids are being overly demanding. That’s when everything you do to keep the “balls in the air” starts to feel like too much.
You look at your partner who isn’t doing (or stressing) nearly as much, and you’re angry.
You grumble to yourself, “Why is it assumed that I’ll take care of it all? I have a career, too! I have things I want to do with my free time other than picking up after everyone!”
And then, one evening, after too many of these stressful days in a row, you look at a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, and you can’t take it anymore.
You have to say something to your partner.
But by then, you’re so annoyed that it comes out in a critical, sarcastic, whiny tone.
“Do you not see this pile of dirty dishes in the sink? Or are you oblivious on purpose?”
“I hate being treated like a maid around here!”
“You know, I’d love to just plop down on the couch without a care in the world after dinner, too!”
Upon hearing this, your partner may get defensive and accuse you of nagging—triggering a nasty argument.
Or, they may quietly get up and take care of the dishes right then, but not without rolling their eyes and acting indignant.
Or, they may even apologize and offer to put away the clean dishes and load the dishwasher every night from now on.
The dishes get handled, one way or another.
But if you’re like many couples, this is a problem that never gets resolved for long.
Because if it’s not the dishes today, it’ll be about whose turn it is to stay home from work when your child falls ill.
And next week, it’ll be about who gets to sleep in on the weekends while one of you has to get up to let the dog out and start breakfast for the kids.
And the month after that, it’ll be about how come your partner gets to watch sports on TV all weekend while you drive around town running errands.
And the reason why this problem of who-does-more-around-the-house keeps popping up, no matter how many times you bring it up, or how you decide to split up the responsibilities, is because the problem you think you’re having isn’t the real problem.
Or the errands, or the TV-watching, or the sleeping in.
However, something like the dirty dishes can eventually lead to the demise of your relationship.
It can happen because you’re not really arguing about the dishes. Because the dishes are simply a symptom of a much bigger issue in your marriage.
The bigger issue, in this case, is a fundamental imbalance in responsibilities or privileges in your relationship.
In other words, your relationship is unfair.
You perceive that you’re not getting as much as you’re giving, that the returns aren’t commensurate with your investment (of time, energy, effort, etc.)
And moreover, arguments, discussions and compromises aren’t doing the trick to solve the problem, either.
That’s because you’re failing to effectively address this bigger issue of fairness, and therefore, you’re never able to completely resolve the smaller symptoms that keep popping up.
Unless you know how to address this overarching issue of fairness, there will always be resentment and eventual contempt between you—which can destroy your relationship and lead to divorce.
It’s like this:
The most common reason cited for divorce and separation is growing apart.
The most common cause of growing apart is resentment.
The most common cause of resentment is unfairness.
That’s how bickering about dirty dishes can eventually lead to divorce!
Over time, all of these unaddressed symptoms of unfairness I mentioned will build up and lead you to feeling resentful of your partner. Resentment will prevent you from connecting on an intimate level with your partner.
This lack of connection and intimacy will erode the love, respect and fun you used to share.
Sad, but true.
But the good news is…
There’s a way to address the bigger issue of unfairness in your relationship that eliminates the symptoms of unfairness, without having to nag, argue, or whine every time things start to feel like too much.
You do so by making certain positive changes that address fairness as an agreed-upon value, through which all your decisions, behaviors and choices take place.
When you can do that, you and your partner will begin to understand the implications of those choices before you even make them.
And when that occurs, you’re no longer playing whack-a-mole with the symptoms.
Your relationship naturally becomes more equitable, and you feel more supported and respected.
You work together as a team, instead of feeling like your partner’s manager or “mom”.
You may be wondering how exactly to do this, as the only way you’ve ever dealt with this problem in the past has been to get angry, start a fight, nag or complain.
My eBook, 5 Forces Destroying Your Relationship You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, will show you how.Learn More
You’ll not only learn about how to strengthen the value of fairness in your relationship through love-affirming, positive actions, you’ll also learn about the other 4 “fundamental flaws” that may be keeping you from having the kind of fun, secure and relaxed relationship you want.
The eBook helps you recognize what’s wrong with the underlying “system” behind almost ALL your complaints, arguments and disappointments with your partner and then helps you fix this flaw through a series of specially designed questionnaires. These questionnaires demonstrate to you and your partner how to make positive changes in your relationship simply by virtue of contemplating the answers.
Plus, you’ll get tips and strategies you may not have thought of before to make your relationship more equal and fair, more secure, more fun, and better able to bend with the times.Start Reading
Whether you think the issue is poor communication, lack of passion, not making the relationship a priority, doing too much while your partner does too little—you name it, identifying the real flaw in your relationship is the first step to getting out from underneath all your problems and stepping into marital bliss.
But you can’t change what you don’t see.
When you learn all about the 5 forces destroying your relationship in my eBook, you’ll finally “see” what you haven’t been able to all these years.
And it’ll make all the difference in your marriage.
May you have an extraordinary day,
P.S. Is your relationship full of drama? Do the smallest things trigger the biggest fights? Do you or your partner threaten to leave or call it quits on a regular basis?
If so, your relationship hijinks may really be a cover-up for a much bigger issue in your marriage. Unless you can recognize that issue and address it in an effective way, you’ll never feel secure and safe in your relationship. In Chapter Four of my eBook, you’ll learn what’s causing your fights and drama, and what you need to do to resolve this bigger issue for good. Start reading in minutes here:Start Here