Working Together with your Spouse Two is better than one, but sometimes it's better to take a step back and help your spouse rather than try and takeover. BY MARY LOYER
Working with your spouse and taking advantages of their strengths can make tasks much more fun.
Did you ever argue with your spouse over who was responsible for your child’s education, who should handle the finances and who should plan your summer vacation? Often, deciding on who should handle the different matters of your life together can be a daunting task, especially if you think you are more experienced in that area of your life. It’s a natural instinct for us to enter a situation and decide who is more equipped to provide the result for everyone. At the scene of a fire, for example, we might naturally let a fireman be responsible for putting out the fire and simply ask what we could do to help.
What if it’s not always clear who should be accountable for the success of a situation in your marriage? These situations or tasks can be as simple as—the grocery shopping, managing the re-modeling project or helping the kids with their homework. What if you think you are more capable of handling one of these tasks, but your spouse believes they are more inclined? How can you handle these situations without having the other person feel unsupported or left out?
If you both perceive yourselves as the better person for a task, you may experience something called, "dueling providers." When there are dueling providers, you may both feel like the other person is not supporting you. Since you both have your separate ideas about how something should be done, you may feel frustrated that you are having to do it all by yourself separately. It can feel burdensome and you may even find yourself resenting your spouse for not trusting you to take care of things your way. In these moments, it’s a good time to recognize that you both care so much about the outcome and success of your life together that you both want to take action. This is a good thing—that you both are so engaged in your well-being as a couple and as a family. To help each one of you take part in these moments, you might check in with each other and decide together who will be ultimately accountable.
If you feel you are the better equiped person in that situation, you could say, "I have experience with this, and I would really like to be in charge of this project. It would be fun for me, and I’d like to be accountable for the success of it for all of us." If you are on the receiving end of this proclamation, you might honor this request by simply saying, "I can see how important this is too you. While you are handling the details, I would love to be in the loop on your progress, and I’d love to know what you need from me and how can I support you, to make sure it’s a success."
So, if you are the one who is accountable for paying the bills on time, be sure to keep your spouse in mind and let them know what you need from them in order for you to be successful. For example, do you need them to put the bills in a certain spot so you can check off each one for payment? If you feel accountable for making sure your summer vacation is fun and relaxing, be sure to let your spouse know which areas of research they can help you with. This helps both of you take part while knowing that one of you is ultimately in charge of the outcome. When you notice your spouse being accountable for the outcome of some area of your lives together, be sure to give them lots of appreciation for taking on that task. As we all know, taking on responsibility is always more fun when we are appreciated for our efforts, and the love and care we put into our strides for the success of everyone involved.
Mary Loyer is the Founder of Red Lipstick Inc.www.redlipstickinc.com. For more than 10 years, Mary has passionately led women to find their true feminine power, understand men and create amazing relationships. Inspired by her career in the beauty industry and her dedication to personal growth, Mary continues to search for ways that women can have harmony with men. Today, Mary speaks, lectures and writes about many issues that can cause frustration in relationships. She finds the humor and brings lightness to all of it. She is noted as an inspiring coach who inspires women to be confident, celebrate life and be as bold as red lipstick.