Ok so you want to know how to play the game but play smart…
There are three ways in which you can approach this guys, so as previously stated you can opt to do the grown up thing; draw up a list of chores, date nights and promises but in reality these very rarely implement consistent long term change. Again that’s not to say it doesn’t happen but all these relationship websites who advise this option are doing so on the basis you have met and are having a relationship with an emotionally mature individual who recognises their love and responsibility that brings when it comes to being in a relationship with you…yup sounds pretty rare right? That’s because it really is! On average men are two years behind in their emotional maturity than women hence why it takes men longer to settle down and start a family etc. This is not to say this is a bad choice in any way just don’t expect someone to be able to love you how you love them without knowing what amount of love they are actually capable of giving.
Set your stall out early as my dear nana used to say. Be very clear from the start what you expect from this relationship. What is a requirement and what is a want from you. Notice I said requirement? Yup there it is again so what do I mean by that?…well a requirement is something you want or need from the relationship that is absolutely none negotiable. These things need to be hashed out earlier on in the relationship and if you haven’t done them already then you need to sit and have a genuine discussion with your significant other to make sure that you are on the same page. Requirements may be things like marriage, children, religion or even just weekly Sunday dinner with the in laws. If these things are important to you and not having them would significantly impact upon your relationship then they need to be laid out for your new beau asap so that you don’t waste your time or theirs building a life together that will be broken down by major life choices such as your own requirements.
You should also be very clear about your expectations of their ability to pull their own weight. Times are a changing and no longer is it expected a man will pay all the bills and go to work while the woman stays at home and babysits the children, and too right! Equal opportunity is a beautiful thing! But guys and gals this doesn’t mean that one of you should have to pull more weight than the other. Be very clear what bills you expect to pay and what will be their responsibility, if you cannot cook then take responsibility for the dishes it’s that simple! The tasks that no one likes doing have in agreement of who will do what on rotation and guys please I cannot stress this enough. Lay down your boundaries!!! What is acceptable and what is not! If your partner is prone to emotional outbursts for example be explicitly clear what is acceptable and what is not in your presence! Trading verbal insults happens in most relationships and can easily destroy them too! You may brush it off as ‘sticks and stones’ now but trust me if the same comment comes up more than once and you accept it you better believe it will be said again and if it hurts the first time it will hurt more each time it is said! Be clear on this and be prepared to stick to it. After all boundaries mean nothing if you allow your partner to continually chip away at them!
So I hear you ask what’s the third option??
It’s too late for all of the above you are three years in and at each other’s throats. They are out partying all the time or on their phone constantly. Things are slipping at home and the majority of chores fall to you while they sit there nonchalant as if completely unaware. You’ve had the chat and arrived back at this emotional tornado a month after each promise…so what do you do?
Part 3 (please read the disclaimer!)…
Listen carefully as this has to be done right (quick disclaimer no one should implement any of this if you are in an emotionally, verbally or physically abusive relationship! In that situation you must from experience stick to survival and tell someone straight away you are in danger please do not attempt to implement boundaries with anyone who is abusive to you!). Now you’ve had the sit downs, the lists the arguments. Your relationship is slipping and so is your mental and physical capacity to cope with having a grown up child as a lover or room mate. This is where your emotionally mature self comes into play.
Our first reaction to in action is to act! You must not do this! This is all about your inner ability to show your strength. If your partner wishes to go out with their friends do not stop them. Change the game don’t beg them to stay invite them to go, in fact tell them it’s what you want them to do! A person will do the things they want to do anyway now you can either argue and become upset or encourage it! Perhaps practice a little self care, enjoy the time with the dog or the kids. Plaster on that grin and think of it as some ‘you time’. Flip the script a little. Trust me they will be both curious and nervous to find you want some alone time too!
The key to this is not to be their emotional crutch for the night. If they text don’t feel the immediate need to text back and ask how their night is going. They want to check that you are still feeling their withdrawal, don’t play to this it weakens their want to return to you at all knowing your safe at home waiting for them in your jim jams with tea in the oven. Hell while you’re at it don’t make that tea you get yourself a takeaway and save yourself the dishes! This emotional downtime for you gives you some mental breathing space and while they are out getting their physical breathing space trust me they will be wondering why you were so happy for them to go…TAXI!!
Now phones they are the tricky part…everyone has one we all probably spend more time on them than we should especially in today’s climate but fear not! If you have a schedule or routine do not delay this because your partner is sat on their phone…please continue!…don’t wait to press play or delay in starting the hoover all because they are sat on their device no no in fact ask for their participation. Got dinner under control as you have every night? Yeahhh we know you got it but give your partner a shout anyway be the damsel in distress ‘can you help me peel these potatoes darling my timings are all out’…they may huff and puff but done with a smile and a thank you you’ll soon see them asking if you need help in the kitchen or putting away that hoover!
So what do you do if they are just downright lazy??
Well yeah I get this one a lot and I’m sorry to say a lazy person never really changes so you need to either accept you will be doing more than your share or you can try the last devious trick in the book…they need their socks their shirts their trousers all nice and clean for work they expect this at 11pm on a Sunday when you’ve just sat down from preparing the children’s school dinners and realise they never so much as put a pair of pants in the wash basket. This one is simple but effective and I may be judged for this but I am not ashamed to say it. Simply refuse or say you forgot! A few days without clean underpants and smelling like the bottle of gone off milk everyone in the office leaves at the back of the fridge for months on end will quite simply shame them into participating with the washing machine! What you do next however is key! If your significant other attempts a task for the first time do not mock! Help. Do not chastise, be positive! And if they dye all of their own clothing grey or pink pat them on the back and show them how for next time. Positive reinforcement works wonders with those who have a lack of motivation!
Give these a go and let me know how you get on in the comments below…like for more 😊