Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Competative Tiredness - A Couples Biggest fight

If you have a partner you live with then you will realise that bickering is something that can become habit rather quickly. A partnership works when both parties input the same amount of effort, unfortunately you can never quantify effort in a relationship without first understanding the psychology of the other person. Many married couples that have been together years often expect little from their partner, having assumed their respective roles a long time ago, any additional effort is seen as a benefit and treated as such when it occurs. This however is a long road and many couple don't make it beyond the beginning of the argument.

Living with Someone

Cohabiting the same space as another person can lead to conflict, mainly around paying for the services and accommodation, cleaning of the accommodation and use of the elements in the accommodation. First it may start as a niggle, they keep leaving the oven on after cooking or they perhaps don't ever use lamps preferring the glare of the main light. This quickly builds into arguments about frequency of hoovering, washing dishes straight after use so they do not become harder to do later or whose turn it is to take the bins out. If one is using the accommodation more than the other then this becomes a bigger problem as you would expect they should do more than you as they are there more often. Also add in the elements of who pays, if one person is working and the other not then the burden of financial responsibility is placed more into one hands than the others. The myriad examples of arguments possible is endless, but the route cause of the argument is the same. The reason for arguments of this type is because you value your own input more than the other persons. This is not a fair position to take but when new to a situation it is a common issue. There are coping mechanisms you can implement that are less rigid than the usual putting up a rota or having an agreement drafted by a lawyer. Two simple tools you can use to improve your situation are; Put yourself in their shoes and Always show gratitude. Putting yourself in their shoes is a simple one, ensure you can understand their point of view. Often by doing this you will realise the fact they have a tough time and you just take it for granted. Also by showing gratitude you are ensuring they feel appreciated and will actually make them more willing to continue doing tasks you may not want to do.

If you cannot negotiate and get to a good place in this situation do not add the following complications as it is not fair on anybody, especially any children involved. Either continue to work on it until your both happy or remove yourself from it and start again.

Having Children

This often throws a large spanner in the works, sleep deprivation shortens your fuse quicker than watching an episode of Question Time. When your focus needs to switch to your new child it is often easy to forget your partner, take them for granted or expect them to continue doing everything they previously did. This life changing event will mean your life will restructure and you will struggle to find a balance again. Some people feel this is a bad reflection on the relationship but its not, it is natural and negativity will also be something you child picks up on so stop being so down. Communication is key, without it you are basically like headless chickens trying to find the escape door. No matter how tired you are do not play the competative tiredness card. This is where you each take it in turn to tell the other how exhausted you are competing for sympathy from the other. This never works, you should recognise you are both tired and work around this by organising the tasks again. The person who goes to work may think they are entitled to some down time after work, think again. There is no downtime when a child is born, you need to be constantly on call and vigilant. The rise in divorced and seperated parents in the UK can be put at the door of thinking that the rut you are in will never end. But a child becomes far less intensive care as they grow and develop and so hope is there. What it also does is often change peoples personality, if you have a child you tend to stop doing activities you enjoyed as regularly and 90% of your conversations are about child rearing. This can be a source of friction and something that will fade with time, but once you do find yourself with time you may migrate onto others activities and hobbies. Changing in this manner may scare your partner, they may begin to think you are not the same, and of course you aren't. But remember that in a relationship those who are successful are people who can grow together and those that are not grow apart. The strongest will not be those who survive, nor the smartest but those who are best at adapting to change.

When you have a child you should remember that they are your main responsibility, your partner can look after themselves if needed so do not allow arguments or confrontations to spill into your child's world. It is shown that often a child from a conflicted home is less likely to develop social skills when they are older and it can lead to anxiety and other mental health difficulties if arguments are severe.

Working dynamics

The dynamic of working is often one that can make the other person feel under valued, taken for granted or pressurised. Of course the flip side to this is the dynamic of a relationship where neither party works and this is often very destructive as having time apart is a huge benefit to any relationship. Developing conversations and debates, sharing ideas and bringing outside influences into your relationship have to happen to help you further it and still have a sense of self worth. If both are working there is likely to be some competitive edge to your income, with the main earner seeing themselves as being a bigger contributor. They may feel they deserve more from the relationship because they provide more money, but this should not be the case. Earning is not directly related to effort and often the most stressful jobs are not well paid. You should never discuss the issue of earnings as a competition because you have made the choice to be with the person you are with. When you agree this you should commit to support and help emotionally, physically and financially if required. Of course this kind of financial integration should only occur once your relationship has passed the initial phase, I am not advocating that sugar daddies and high spending cougars is a good model for any relationship. Striking a balance in your career, which is something hugely personal to you, that allows you to support the other persons career choice is vital. Set goals and ensure you both discuss frequently where you wish to progress to in your career. Some people are happy at the level they are at, others may want more education and some may wish to put further effort in to secure promotion. Communication is key here, making the other person aware of your intentions and keeping them updated with how you are getting on or what your next moves are. Communication is not simply about telling the other person, it is also about listening. If you indeed listen well then you may even be able to support or help the other person by taking other burdens from them, utilising contacts or just being there to bounce their ideas and frustrations off.  If you support and help each other you will find that you naturally grow as a couple and can develop a much deeper sense of partnership.

In summary if you cannot successfully negotiate these then you are perhaps in the wrong relationship as you shouldn't really be getting as annoyed about it as you are. Admitting defeat is hard but can mean your future happiness is greater than if you attempt to rescue something that is not healthy. If you do negotiate these then your life will be easier and you will naturally filter into your own roles complimenting each other to run a well functioning and happy home.

Good luck.

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