Closing the old year and starting a new one based on our achievements, career, physical or financial well being, we might also tinker about the current state of our relationship. Some people know exactly what would be desirable to change; unfortunately, some only have a hazy feeling of dissatisfaction.
In my opinion, the relationship is better if there is a balance in most areas. What exactly this balance is depends on the couple. Furthermore, it has to be the result of negotiation. For one couple it might be that one of them is the bread winner while the other is the home maker. However, the same shared agreement might not work for others. The important thing to consider is that give and take needs to be equal — roughly.
Here you have my short checklist of what you need to consider.
1. Power. Who has the power to decide important things. i.e. where to live, where the kids attend school, do you go for a holiday and when and where, what house or car will you purchase, who will be your friends?
2. Finance. Do you share finances or is each responsible for his or her own spending? Who is the financial minister in your home? Are the issues negotiable?
3. Workload. Are you both working outside the house? Who is responsible for the housework, the yard work, for fixing things, for the children's activity and behavior? When adding this up, is the workload shared fairly?
4. Appreciation. Do you show your appreciation to each other about what is accomplished? How is this achieved? Is it verbally, physically, with presents, with favors, or with services? Is the showing of appreciation mutual?
5. Understanding/Acceptance. Do you show understanding for each other's feelings? When and how? Do you show understanding even when you would not feel the same way in the same situation, and does your partner do it with you? Do you accept each other all together with your differences, or is criticism often present in your home?
6. Support. Do you support each other's dreams and personal development no matter what, or only when it has benefit for you as well?
7. Freedom. Do you give the freedom to each other to choose friends, hobbies, spare time activities, how to spend his or her money, or change jobs?
8. Honesty/Trust. Can you be honest with your partner? Do you trust in him or her? Does he or she trust in you and is he or she honest with you?
Now you probably have your list of things you're satisfied with, and the possible places to change. Now it's worth it to think about how you can make those changes happen. Please be aware that you cannot change your partner's personality. You can ask for certain behaviors or actions to change, though. With an honest, benevolent partner, you might talk about what you would like to have instead of what you've got. You can negotiate and compromise. With a partner who pursues unfair advantages, you might decide what you want and what you are willing to do or not to do any longer, and change only your behavior. Your partner's behavior change might follow.
Have a Joyful Relationship and Happy New Year!
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