Life can be as hectic as can be this time of year with End-of-School and Summer Planning. These stressors create great strain for couples as they juggle the multitude of demands and additional expenses in their homes. There are a few times of year when things get really hairy, and this is one of them (the other main ones are Back-to-School and the Holidays, right?).
This time is challenging as there are a lot more tasks to tackle, decisions to be made, and places to be. It can be difficult to stay on top of everything and know how to share the load. Overwhelm, exhaustion and resentment can creep in if Partners struggle collaborating and supporting each other.
Partners can struggle managing the load jointly for a multitude of reasons. These can be understood in the context of key Elements in a relationship. The estate of the Elements in the relationship determine if they support creating a Successful Relationship or if they undermine one.
When the partners are overwhelmed, exhausted, feeling resentful and not consistently running a harmonious and joyful home, these are signs that the Elements are not strong enough yet… They might actually be showing up like this:
Different Perspectives (Element1 – Context & Mindset) – The partners are feeling pulled in a million directions, have narrow bandwidth, have stressful situations and full plates with work and/or other commitments, they have flimsy boundaries and are not fully owning their experience. They are falling prey to their everyday lot and feel stuck on how to shift gears and gain control. They feel powerless, victimized, taken advantage of, burdened, and unsupported.
When partners try to address this, it only creates more conflict. They feel misunderstood, unappreciated, and alone. They are each stuck in their own perspective and are unable to get the other’s side or make changes. Partners spin trying to get a handle on roles, responsibilities, priorities, support and the like…
Poor Communication (Element2 – Communication & Alignment) – It is challenging to maintain great communications skills all the time. We might be distracted, under stress or triggered and not have a full handle on an interaction. Partners might not even have great communications skills to begin with making their relating and exchanges even more susceptible to going wrong. A partner that is talkative, shares everything, and is insistent that an issue gets addressed immediately is not a great communicator either…
These partners are always arrogant that they communicate well vs their partner who doesn’t show up… Too much or too little are just opposite sides of the same coin! Both styles have a tremendous negative impact on the other… And, great communication skills go way beyond the amount of talking.
Power Struggling (Element3 – Clarity & Dynamic) – As if life is not interesting and complex enough, a lot of what happens in our Journey and in our Relationship is actually subconscious and unconscious… We are reactive, collude and co-create the repeating patterns in our life that don’t serve us. Our Subconscious runs the show with scripts, narratives, and belief systems – these can be directly accessed and reprogrammed if desired. Our Unconscious makes up our psychological, physiological and energetic make up – this is deeper programming that cannot be as easily accessed but can still be reprogrammed…
We have a hardwired built-in mechanism in our brain for keeping the homeostasis for the sake of survival… this makes it challenging to make changes… So, we do the same old and keep the repeating patterns going to the dismay, disappointment and frustration of the partners. When their operating is not properly addressed the partners keep getting on each other’s nerves, triggering each other and going around in circles.
Feeling Disconnected (Element4 – Connection & Intimacy) – Well, not for nothing. When the above is going on how can partners possibly figure out how to connect and sustain their connection? Granted not every single moment is a struggle so partners do get to connect to some extent, and they make these crumbs sustain them… But, by Gosh, this is a very challenging and lacking experience to say the least. Not only is there lots to do and conflict, but also very little to reenergize and feed the relationship.
To make matters worse, partners put the relationship at the bottom of their priority list when going about their life, especially if children are involved… UGH!!! It almost seems like a futile concept to desire a Successful Relationship. Attention, care, TLC, fun, affection, physical intimacy, passion can all seem so elusive… Feeling close, loved and cherished can seem like a pipe-dream.
Systems Failure (Element5 – Collaboration & Partnership) – And, then is the issue of being disorganized and not knowing how to partner-up in life to boot! Are you wondering why even bother yet? LOL Most people don’t have great habits, routines, structures and systems in place to thrive at their life. They might have some, but they don’t fully address the whole context of their life, and never mind that of integrating two lives together and adding little people to the mix!
Their life is overly scheduled, flooded, and chaotic. There is no room for maneuvering or a mechanism for regrouping, course correcting, recharging and the like. I hear of multiple trips to the supermarket in a week… Of wasting hours moving cars in the evening (for alternate side of the street parking – a NYC phenomenon)… Of being swallowed up by laundry, or some aspect of doing laundry being a contentious issue… Of nannies and sitters making matters worse… Of issues with meals, night routines, and sleeping… Of people constantly getting sick… Of children’s behavior or performance problems… Of stagnant careers or businesses… Of financial difficulties… Etc… Partners don’t leverage each other and tap into the synergy inherent to the relationship…
Successful people in a Successful Relationship, are VERY intentional about all this. They address their Mindset. They are life-long students and learn skills necessary to create a better life. They get support and mentors to help them heal, grow and evolve. They Design their life prioritizing what’s important. They automate the junk and properly outsource. They learn how to create and operate a strong Partnership. You CAN do all this too!! Though it might seem impossible, it is not!!
The trick is to take a step back and go about your approach from a different angle. Stop white-knuckling it…
Assignment: Have a heart-to-heart with your Self and then with your Partner about how to go about your situation differently. Make sure you are calm and collected for both heart-to-hearts. Get grounded, calm your mind and reactivity. Dig within yourself, get in touch with your intuition, for an informed perspective… After the chat with your Partner, take immediate action on a decision made. If you were unable to come to an agreement on how to proceed. Take action on something that makes sense for your own Wellbeing (never to your partner’s detriment though)…
Be Mindful. Be Decisive. Be Intentional. Be Proactive. Be Progressive. You can do it! Go rock it!
Complete the Assignment, and share your takeaway, insights, and results with a note in the Comments box at the end! I’d love to hear how you are using this content.
~ Some Related Issues
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.