September is back to school; It’s a time for new learning and fresh starts. We’re going to be doing the same here at Team Abby. Starting this month, I’m going to be coming at you with a new topic each month. We’re starting with the basics: what I teach every new couple who walks through my door. I’m also going to be giving you access to a freebie at the end of every podcast. It’s something you can download if you want to cement what you’ve learned on that day’s show. Today’s is great so stay tuned if you want to learn how to create more patience and bandwidth in your life.
September is all about the Real Problem in Your Relationship. Couples always walk in the door saying their problem is communication, but they’re wrong. That’s a symptom of the real issue that’s undermining your success.
I’m going to be doing a Ted Talk next week in NY entitled “The Real Reason Relationships Fail” and it’s all about what I’m going to be teaching you today (and all this month). My Ted Talk is less than 15 minutes but you, my friend, are going to get the long version – we’re going to go deep this month into the real reason relationships fail.
There’s a lot going on in today’s relationships: commutes, work, deadlines, keeping the house together, fitting in time with friends, self-care, and just the general maintenance of life leaves many couples feeling exhausted at the end of the day. When you throw kids, pets or taking care of aging parents into that mix, it can tip couples right over the edge of time management.
With all of these things competing for your time and attention, people often end up looking to their partner to save the day, do their share and “pull their weight.” You start watching everything they do and comparing it to what you do. In effect, you start competing. And this is the real reason relationships fail.
You start to keep a mental score card, listing all the things you’ve done and comparing it to what your partner has done. This inevitably leads to feelings of resentment, anxiety, frustration and disappointment. Not the feelings you want if you’re looking for a connected, happy and satisfying relationship.
Keeping Score Sets You Up on Opposite Sides
We say things like: “I drove Matt to baseball on Tuesday, so it’s only fair for you to take Sophie to soccer practice on Thursday.” Or, the one I hate the most: “It’s your TURN to put away the dishes.”
Do you hear yourself? It’s your turn?! Taking turns happens in games and sports. If you’re treating your relationship like a game – I can tell you right now – you’re going to lose!
I need you to get out of the keeping score mindset and, instead, think of you and your partner as being on the same team. This means you are one, shared resource. So, pulling energy from your partner, really means pulling energy from yourself. Your team becomes drained and it’s hard to win the game when your team is tapped out.
What do you do to stop this behavior? There are two main things you need to do and they involve math (but not the way you think):
The first is to subtract: to take things off your plate completely.
The second thing you need to do to get out of keeping score and competing is to add resources instead of always looking to your partner to fill in the blanks or “pick up the slack.”
Remember that when you constantly look to your partner to “do their part” you’re actually taking away from yourself.
Resources and Links:
I’ve got an awesome freebie for you to help you cement in today’s lesson. I call it the Creating more patience and bandwidth quicksheet . It’ll take you less than 10 minutes to create a real, tangible action step so you can start changing right now. Sign up Below!