Dealing with 'Domestic Imbalance'


Do you find yourself resenting your partner because you feel you do significantly more housework?


Are you a neat freak and your significant other is more… laid back?

Does your partner think you have unreasonable demands of them?


Here are 5 things to remember to help dealing with the stress of 'domestic imbalance'.

Remember your self-care first

You need 'you time!’ A place to recharge and reboot. Ensure you have things that are just for you and that these things make you feel good inside of you. In order to put you first, you need to learn the art of leaving your partner the "To Do List". Learning to leave your partner a list helps to provide structure to some expectations and remember, DO NOT reward your partner for things they should be doing already off this list like picking up clothes, dishes, and tidying up etc. This leads to the second point...

Ignore the temptation to pick up after them

You may be a bit of a neat freak and need to have the home squeaky clean and tidy. Your emotional urges to keep the home super clean cause you to enable your partner by cleaning up after them. It's like you can't help yourself, you just have to do it. Stop! Resist this urge and allow your partner the opportunity to learn by changing your role. When they leave their clothes, underwear, and socks on the floor - you are allowed to pick them up but DO NOT PUT THEM AWAY. Instead, throw their dirty clothes back into their closet. When they run out of clothes, and confront you on this your response will be "Oh dear, I only wash clothes that make it into the hamper, if they're not in the hamper, I figure they weren't dirty, so I put them back into your closet [on the floor].” Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself.

The Dirty Dish Dilemma

Rather than repeating your requests for your partner to pick up their dishes from the bedside table or other interesting drop off spots where they are left to lie around the house, collect the dishes and then move them into a pile near the kitchen sink. Then, in a calm voice, let your partner know you've collected the dishes and could they help out by washing them.

Stop making excuses for them

Yes, your partner may work and they may be busy, but that is not an excuse for them to create more work for you. Changing your role means you have to stop making all kinds of excuses for their inconsiderate choices within your relationship. You need to become honest and direct with your honesty. When you are not honest with your partner and relationships get to a critical point, they will tell you “I wish you would have told me you felt this way.” When you are honest and direct, there are no surprises, secrets or avoidances to be honest and truthful.

Address your own avoidances

Enabling your partner is not just a form of people pleasing. It is rooted in your own avoidances regarding conflict. Here you need to change your role, specifically to your own avoidances and learn to challenge yourself to be honest to you first by what you feel and are experiencing. Then you need to lean into this and not avoid the situation. When you learn to not avoid, this is the first powerful step in shifting away from being an enabler and people pleaser in the relationship. I would suggest that if this step is difficult, engage a life coach or therapist to work with you on this issue.

Be the change you want in your relationship and watch your relationship begin to change for the better.

Be well

Ian


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Ian Robertson Therapy & Counselling

6150 Valley Way
Suite #108
Niagara Falls, ON
L2E 1X9

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