What to do if your partner isn’t PULLING THEIR WEIGHT
Mum-of-two and social commentator Angela Mollard guides you through the thrills and spills of parenthood
Transitioning from being a couple to a family can be difficult. While we spend hours at antenatal classes learning how to deliver a baby, couples rarely receive guidance on the challenges that come with their new addition. Yet psychotherapist Ginny Lindsay, who runs the counselling service From 2 to 3, believes plenty can be done to ensure couples are better prepared. Here she talks us through how to future-proof your relationship after a baby.
Should couples seek help before they have a baby? It’s vital couples consider the impact the baby will have on their relationship. Their world up until this point has all been about the two of them and now with all the attention going to the baby the danger is that their relationship will miss out and suffer. Couples who give time before the birth to consider the impact their baby will have on their relationship tend to be far more united and resilient to the future challenges. What are the main problems you see after a baby arrives? Lack of sleep and resultant tension between the couple as they are more reactive. Financial problems are also common as the household goes from two incomes to one. Communication can break down as couples clash over their expectations and handling household chores. For women, there is often a change of identity and a feeling of loneliness and being ‘stuck’ at home with the baby. What can you do if you don’t think your partner is pulling their weight? First, step back and assess how you believe your partner isn’t pulling their weight. It’s quite natural to be on different wavelengths during the parenting journey. The key is to talk about it calmly, come from a place of love and try to find some common ground.
Discuss expectations. Finally, consider your own behaviour and state of mind. Are you sending negative or confusing signals, criticising your partner and taking over? What are some tips for good communication? Try to talk from the ‘I’ rather than the ‘You’. When we talk from the ‘I’ we are talking about our own experience and how we see the situation. Thus your point of view is objective, irrefutable and non judgemental. If you talk from the ‘You’ this is subjective and could lead to your partner becoming defensive. Show gratitude. What can you do if your partner is not open to discussing the challenges and shared roles? You do not have to do this alone. If your partner is not open to discussing the challenges nor willing to attend a session with you, then come by yourself.