For reasons best left to psychologists, it would be reasonable to say that my mother-in-law and I never became the best of pals. We rubbed along OK, but it was often a relationship of unspoken conflicts and hurts on both sides.
When I first met SweetP, I was SOOOO impressed by the fact that he could prepare himself a meal, and sew on a button, and iron a shirt. At that stage, those were very hazy skills in MY repertoire!
Of course, we are talking about these discoveries coming after I'd checked out the important things like his looks, and smile, and cute bum!
With three sons, M-I-L did a SENSATIONAL job of equipping them all for the world of the practical and the domestic! She passed to me the gift of a man who not only said he'd help around the house but was able to walk his talk!
Many things my M-I-L suggested over the years, I rejected out of bloody-mindedness and arrogance. However, deep inside my core I knew that her gift of a domesticated son was one I had a responsibility to pass on. I vowed I would send my three sons off into the world able to cook, clean, iron, wash etc!
By the way, this one is one my maternal successes of which I am most proud! Lovable Geek and his two older brothers are all domestically competent.
Why am I boring you with this?
Because one of the perennial problems that couples find most hard to get over, is the issue of the sharing of chores! On the surface, it would seem a simple enough problem to solve.
But it's like a wartime ocean, filled with depth charges and silent, drifting bombs just waiting to explode!
Now don't get me wrong! SweetP and I have had our fair share of heated debates and wasted emotional energy on the issue of sharing the chores! Competence, intentions, and actions are entirely different things!
This is one of those areas of communication that I've spoken about before, that realistically doesn't need to come with baggage or even a great deal of emotional investment.
"Should" or not, IT DOES!
Do you know what is expected of you in your relationship? What expectations does your partner have of you? Even if you have been in a relationship for a while it is not too late to get clear on your roles, particularly if there has been any conflict or resentment around this issue.
... It also pays to revisit your “job descriptions” from time to time to ensure you are both happy with the way things are. [more]
So, is the division of domestic chores an issue that complicates your life together? And you think you've tried to solve it? But it's still a sore that's far too easy to knock the scab off?
If you're stuck, what's in it for you that keeps you there? There must be something? Does it fit with your role as the martyr in the family? Does it give you some power to take the moral high ground on some other issue?
There must be some reason why you haven't solved this simple issue! After all you're intelligent people!
If you're stuck, then what are you going to do to shift?
Let's pretend for a moment that you are going to have a productive discussion about it right now!
What is one gesture of goodwill YOU could make, to start the discussion and demonstrate your readiness to find a solution?
So when are you going to have that discussion, for real?