A lot of people have a hair trigger for losing their sh*t on their partners right now, and we have to make a conscious effort to stay out of that reactive head space. So, for this edition of my newsletter, I thought I would talk about how to stave off a fight with your spouse, especially when your disagree about your parenting.
Here’s some quick tips on how:
- Feeling unappreciated is one of the biggest complaints that partners have. Take time each day to acknowledge each other for everything each of you are doing and going through in these unprecedented times.
- The second biggest complaint; division of labour. Don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader or to see what needs to be done to help you. Be specific with your requests. “I need help. Can you make dinner 2 times a week and handle the kids baths and tuck ins on the weekends?”
- Don’t fight over parenting the wrong way. You don’t have to parent exactly the same in order to be good parents and raise great kids. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Kids can handle the difference in your styles. What does have an adverse effect on kids is seeing parents fighting about them.
- Kids don’t need two parents disciplining them at the same time. That’s 2 against 1! If one parent says “eat with your fork, not your hands” trust that the parent who spoke up can take action and manage the situation independently. Don’t belittle their authority by interfering and saying “you heard what your mother said” as if your voice and position is superior to the other parent and now this means business because you stepped in and over mother.
- If you don’t like how your partner is handling a parenting situation, bite your tongue and go along. This shows the child a harmonious, unified leadership between the parents that gives them a feeling of security. Later when you have privacy, discuss the matter together and see if you can come to an agreement about how to handle the situation next time.
- Clear the air regularly. If you are harboring bad feelings don’t suppress them and build resentment. If you need to talk, let your partner know. One couple used a special vase that was placed on the dining room table when someone was feeling upset or hurt and needed to talk, so they could make time for an important conversation. The vase stayed on the table until the air was cleared and all feelings resolved. It could take days before the whole topic was vented, discussed and resolved but when the vase was put away again, they knew it was put to rest completely.
- Keep up the nookie. We don’t feel interested in sex when we are upset with our partners. This makes matter worse, because then we resent them for rejecting us in the bedroom too. Take time to slow down and make special moments so that you enjoy one another with intimacy that releases oxytocin that creates a feeling of bonding together. Perfect for avoiding feelings of isolation and loneliness during a pandemic.