I recently spoke with a young woman who is newly married. She asked me a question about house cleaning. Both she and her husband work full time. She wants to hire a cleaning lady one day a month to help out with the chores. Her husband feels it’s a waste of money and feels that they can manage the cleaning amongst themselves.
She does not share his viewpoint and asked me what I thought was the best way to handle the situation.
My advice to her was to try it his way for two months. List all the chores that needs to be managed on a peice of paper and split the list between you based on each persons strengths and likes. You can do the dishes, he can mop the floors etc;
At the end of the time period if he has not kept up his end of the agreement you will have a stronger case for hiring the cleaning lady. If her husband is anything like mine, two weeks in and I will have that cleaning in the front door. (smile)
At the end of the day both of you will have contributed to the conversation and that is what’s key.
P.S. start calling agencies (smile)
To work or not work, that is the question most mother’s ask themselves. Understandably, not all mother’s have the choice to be a stay at home mom. For some women working outside the home is the only option. If this is your circumstance, I would, as in my book suggest that you secure as much assistance as possible. Establish a village of individuals to help maintain the flow. Remember, there is only one of you and one or more of your children. Be realistic about what you can and can not do.
Don’t beat yourself up if you have to miss a school program or a game. If you work outside of the home depending on the flexibility of your job, this will happen. Assure your children that you love them and you hate missing the game etc; but that you are working to provide a life and future for them.
Have family and friends fill in for you when you can’t be there. Just remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and remember to shower your children with love when you are present. And above all, remember to Breath.
I was watching a popular TV show tonight about a happy family. Each week the show surrounds a couple and their happy marriage. Tonight was a little different, as a matter of fact there was a hugh difference. The couple found themselves at odds with each other on just about every issue. They seemed to be drifting further and further apart. After twenty years of marriage, they decided to separate. They were both in disbelief as to how they got to that point.
Sometimes, as difficult as it may be, taking a break or seperation may be the best option. When you find yourself in the place that they were in, taking a step back may be the best solution. What do you do when the Love is still there but you’ve lost that loving feeling.
First, I would suggest professional marriage counseling. Take your time, it’s not a race. Find that sweet spot that first brought you together. Try to recreate some of the good times that you shared. Most of all be honest with one another about your feelings and what you need. Remember, it’s possible to fall in love many times with your spouse. Above all, remember why you came together all those years ago. When the flame dies down it is possible to reignite it.
I hear so often from couples that they don’t feel they know their spouse any more. You Changed, is what I often hear. You are not the same person I married. Well, let me let you in on a little secret. None of us are the same person we were when we first were married. I certainly am not the same young girl I was when I married my husband 40 years ago and he is not the same man he was back then. As we age we do evolve and grow and that’s a good thing. If you are the same person you were 5 or more years ago then you are not evolving. Growth and change are a good thing as long as you both grow and evolve together. As I look back on my life I realize as a wife, mother and a woman I have definitely experienced both growth and change and all for the better. So don’t fight it, change is inevitable. Embrace it and continue communicating with your partner so that the change brings you closer and not furthur apart.
In this age of Social Media it’s becoming more difficult to connect with our partner. While I admit I do enjoy surfing the net and updating my facebook page we are loosing the art of just having a verbal personal conversation. Set aside a time in the evening or during the day to disconnect from technology. We need to be able to verbally communicate. When you experience difficult times during your relationship you are not going to resolve the issues via a text. Start a conversation with your partner. Even if its about the weather as long as you are talking. Pretty soon you will find yourself conversing about other topics.
So, start the conversation today.
A really good exercise for continuing to learn about your partner is one that I call the “did you know” tool. The purpose of this exercise is to share with your partner something they may or may not know about. You can start out by saying did you know ________ fill in the blank.
It can something as simple as, did you know that I hate choclate ice cream. Or maybe, did you know that I wanted to be an actress when I was younger. It can anything that you want to share. You can make it silly or serious as long as your are sharing something about yourself.
This is another way to keep the lines of communiation open. Remember, effective communication can make or break a relationship.
Happy Communicating and keep Talking
Ok, we have already established the importance of using the right tone of voice when communcating so now lets talk about how to effectively express your feelings. When you find yourself at an impass with your partner and neither one of you are hearing the other, not just listening but hearing each other, try this exercise.
Set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes. I suggest you start with a short amount of time or you may risk losing the attention of your partner and you may find yourself back where you started. Each of you get out a note pad and pen. Each of you will take a turn expressing your feelings while the other person take notes. You are not to interupt the person who has the floor.
After the five minutes are up, switch positions. Take turns reading aloud the words you wrote while your partner was speaking. Take a moment to digest and take in what was said. Discuss the outcome of the exercise with each other. You can do this as often as you need to. This excerise will bring the energy level to a better place of understanding. At the very least it will diffuse some of the anger and frustration that you both may be feeling at the time. The main objective is to allow you both to shift the energy and approach any situation in a calm fashion.
Best Wishes and Happy Communicating
Remember when you are having an argument with your partner always use your indoor voice. Speak as though your are in a public venue. 10% of arguments are due to a difference of opinion. 90% are due to the wrong tone of voice. You can prevent an argument from escalating into an all out war if you maintain a steady and calm voice. Yelling and screaming will not get the results you want.
So, the next time you find yourself having a difference of opinion with your partner, take a breath and state your position in a calm manner. This will help to diffuse the conversation without saying things you just might regret.
Best wishes and Happy Communicating
“Communication is the key to a good relationship. Two people can be in the same relationship and see it in two different ways.” Remember, it’s not just about you and your viewpoint alone anymore. There are two of you with two different opinions.
Check out furure posts for tips and exercises to help you have better communication.
The key to any good relationship is effective communication. Talking and communicating are not the same. Comunication requires two people who are willing to listen and understand the other person viewpoint. While you may not agree, you can come to an understanding and find middle ground. Check out future post for tips on how to effectively communicate.