When the “boss” comes home, there may not be the same level of deference or compliance at home that is at work. And some of the traits of a good boss don’t translate to home sweet home.
Grumbling about how little a partner does at home is a common complaint in therapy sessions when there is no agreement about how to divide the work and manage the household. Disagreements pop when things don’t feel equal, standards or time are not the same, or there are just different expectations about everyone’s role in the house. The common defenses are “I work and don’t have enough time,” “just let me do it, since I do it so much better,” or “ that’s a job for women/men.”
It seems once a couple has worked through how their parents did it, what you like/dislike doing, which things for which you have an interest/aptitude, and how time or schedules figure—a simple agreement should fix everything. If only it were so easy.
Where do we go when one person believes they have “credits” so therefore because they are providers and should not be expected to do anything at home (or supposed to relinquish power or control)?
Where do we go when one person believes the children should help by doing chores and the other feels differently?
And where do we go when the priorities or standards are different meaning one wants it done to a higher standard or with more frequency?
With affluent, CEOs, professionals on the couch it’s surprising how these disagreements like the unaddressed belief the provider for the household or one with more earning power doesn’t need to contribute in any other ways can spiral out of control. One partner may feel “less than” or taken advantage of.
Unraveling how and why resentment or apathy exist requires some crafty detective therapy work before getting on to solving the problems and effects on the relationship.
MS, MFT, Co-owner of Red Rock Counseling