Couple: angry subjects

  1. Silver
    What is the problem?

Christophe spends a lot of money on his hobbies (computers, video games, music, etc.), but as soon as it’s a question of putting his hand in his pocket to invest in Tom and Lea’s wardrobe or buying a new washing machine, everything suddenly becomes much more complicated?

How to get out of it?

In a couple, the feeling of financial security is not equally shared between the spouses: education and respective family cultures weigh heavily. One has easy spending (“Let’s enjoy life here and now!”), the other would like to save (“We need to secure the future”). Why not open a joint account, to be credited each month with an amount to be defined together in advance according to the bills and expected expenses. Advantage: when you give yourself a gift, it’s “for real”!

  1. Task sharing
    What is the problem?

Christophe develops an acute allergy to some of the most basic practices of daily life: emptying the laundry basket, mopping the floor, thinking about this week’s menus… It’s Clementine who gets stuck to it as soon as she gets home from work. Parity is not won!

How to get out of it?

Men tend to overestimate their investment in the household chores they do in and around the house: changing a light bulb, taking out the trash… Christophe is able to talk about it like a hero for hours! Meanwhile, Clementine looks up to the sky… Like most women, she tends to minimize her spouse’s contribution to household chores. The only way out is to accept an unequal and variable distribution of these tasks, according to the desires of each one, but also to the unavoidable obligations (shopping). In certain fields, especially the most boring ones, one can very well establish a rotation which should avoid that it is always the same one who does it…

  1. In-laws
    What is the problem?

Christophe is an only son and obviously hasn’t cut the cord yet. His mother particularly likes to drop in unexpectedly, give her opinion on interior design or give her advice on how to raise her grandchildren. This forces Clementine to show inhuman self-control.

How to get out of it?

In a couple, there is always one who is more connected to family and in-laws while the other favours his new home and tries to avoid intrusions. In-laws are the couple’s number one enemy and often one of the main causes of separation. There is only one possible strategy: favouring the “us” of the couple, by taking the spouse’s side against his or her own parents. The parents will always be the parents, which is not the case for the spouse… who may not remain so for long if he (or she) does not feel supported. Sidebar: yes, you have the right to have this article read to whoever you wish…

  1. Education of children
    What is the problem?

Christophe is a sugar daddy. He passes everything to Tom and Lea! To him, kisses and hugs. Poor Clementine who has to become a police officer. Icing on the cake: Christophe allows himself to openly criticize his calls to order.

How to get out of it?

Depending on the circumstances, children need supervision and permissiveness. So, rather than be punished by the alleged laxity or authoritarianism of the other parent, it is better to agree on minimum or minimal principles that form a common educational base. It is up to each one to respect the way his or her spouse behaves with his or her children. With two intangible rules to follow: one never openly criticizes (in words or attitude) one’s spouse in front of one’s children, one “debriefs” together afterwards… and without an audience!

How to get out of it?

Remember that men and women do not obey the same biological rhythm. The former function at a daily rhythm with a peak of testosterone, the male hormone, at 8 a.m. in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon and about two hours before midnight. Hormone levels peak in the fall. Women, on the other hand, have a monthly rhythm with a hormone peak in the middle of the cycle and before menstruation. So sometimes you may be in phase… But not every night! Especially since the desire to make love is not limited to hormones.

  1. Personal and family time
    What is the problem?

Christophe goes out with his friends without talking about it with Clementine and without worrying about the consequences on the family agenda. Who should take care of Tom and Lea? When will Clementine finally be able to take some time for herself?

How to get out of it?

A balanced relational life is based on 4 “P’s”, Yvon Dallaire reminds us: Professional (blossoming at work, feeling useful, earning money), Partner (loving, being loved, complicity, sharing), Parent (the altruistic part of the individual who wants to help others: children, spouse, loved ones), Private (our secret garden: hobbies, projects, solo activities). Sometimes we tend to privilege some “P’s” to the detriment of others. Do not hesitate to take stock of your 4 Ps and to study together the necessary rebalancing.

  1. Working at home
    What is the problem?

Files, phone or laptop… The house tends to turn into an annex of Christophe’s office, where he also imports his stress and reduces the family time to a minimum…

How to get out of it?

At school, Tom, Léa and the other students have drawn up a charter of good conduct with the teacher that everyone agrees to respect. Why not do the same in family life, paper in hand? A discussion to be held first as a couple, but which can judiciously include the children, if they are old enough. The latter often have some very striking opinions and judgements about their parents’ availability… It is necessary to review all the invisible threads that link them to the office. In a column, specify the limitations (or even bans) to be expected. In the other column, compare activities or scheduled shared time: outings, readings, walks… Long live family life!

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