Do you feel like you're pulling all the weight and your partner is more like an extra child?
I hear this a lot, and sorry moms, but it mostly comes from you!
"Why is it," you ask, "that it is only me that cares about the kids and what happens to them and that the home is run properly? Why doesn’t my partner care about them as much as I do?"
We’ve all thought it at some point — that we’re the ones pulling all the weight and our partner is just a dead-weight!
Admit it. Perhaps you’ve even fantasized about your partner’s sudden unexpected death and how you’d continue blissfully with the life insurance and without the extra "child" in the house?!
It’s perfectly natural, by the way. We tend to get into relationships expecting all our needs to be met and our highest priorities to be matched by our partners. And it usually appears this way in the beginning.
But what we really do, unconsciously, is attract someone who is almost our polar opposite — the very person who will challenge what is important to us. It’s all good, actually. And all for our growth.
We only grow as human beings when we have a balance of challenge and support. If we only had support, we would be childish and dependent and would never amount to anything.
Think about it with your kids — if you do everything for them and always agree with them and give them everything they want, they become pretty revolting, right?
They need some challenge, some boundaries, some responsibilities (along with your support, of course) and then they really blossom. Your partner is not there to make you happy — they’re there to help you reach your full potential!
Now along with challenging you, your partner having different priorities than you means that they also love differently. Have you heard of the 5 love languages? Well, I believe there are billions of different love languages based on what is important to us (which differs as much from one person to the next as your fingerprints do).
We all love in a way that is congruent with what we view as important in life.
So, for example, I love learning. I consider it as one of my highest priorities. When I want to show love to my children I snuggle up with them and read. I take them to the library. I homeschool them. I talk and listen and help them to expand their minds.
My husband, on the other hand, is into food. So when he shows his love, it is through carefully prepared meals, nutritional information, cooking together, and treats.
We’re also easily offended within our priorities and the way we’re showing our love (I’m offended by a damaged book, my husband by an uneaten meal).
So if you’re looking for the way that your partner is expressing their love, don’t look for it in the same way that you are. Remember that they’re most likely your polar opposite (I find food boring and would happily take it in the form of a pill; my husband hasn’t read a book in years).
Look at what's important to them, where they spend their time/money/energy, and where they get easily offended, and then see if they are expressing their love in a way that is so foreign to you that you simply missed it.
Not everyone can have kids and family as their highest priority. If we did, we’d all be home playing with and educating our children and also slowly starving to death!
We need someone in the family whose priority it is to make the cash, or research nutrition, or get everyone exercising.
Find out what your partner’s love language really is and then see how they are actually pouring love into your life and your kids’ lives and you’ve simply been missing it because you’re expecting it to look like something else.
Mia Von Scha is a Transformational Parenting Coach. Not sure what is important to you or your partner? Get in touch with her. She can assist you in reconnecting and learning to love each other’s love language!
This article was originally published at Transformational Parenting. Reprinted with permission from the author.