Thursday, March 8, 2012

Do You Resent Your Partner?

Do you grit your teeth every time your partner tells you he is going out with friends, heading out on a fishing trip or taking a weekend football getaway?  Do you want to smother him with a pillow each time he pretends like he can't hear the kids crying in the middle of the night or is still snoring when everyone else in the house is wide awake?  Do you secretly hope he drops a weight on his foot while he is working out at the gym for the 3x this week?


Chances are if you are feeling resentment from the tips of your toes to the top of your nose-your aren't having any fun yourself.  This common theme comes up all the time with my coaching clients.  They hate their partners for being able to check out of their parental duties to have fun.  But, when it gets down to it, they are full of jealously because they can't seem to shut off for 10 minutes let alone a night or a weekend.

I get it, I used to be the same way.  My husband doesn't go out much, but he does have a few annual trips that he never misses.  Several years ago I used to have a physical reaction to his impending departure.  The weeks leading up to his trips I was a total brat, and when he was gone and would call home, I would make sure he knew just how hard I was working and how much stress he was leaving behind. I don't know what I was hoping put a cramp in his fun, to make him feel guilty, or for him to come home.  I still don't know.  But I figured if I wasn't having any fun than neither should he.  And I wasn't.  I never went out, I didn't go on weekend getaways and I never even carved out alone time.  So I would be damned if he had his cake!

Over the years I have found that he had it all right and I was a bit crooked.  Women view motherhood as all consuming where men view it as one aspect of their life-so they are able to check out and tend to their other needs.  I've learned that when I am happy, frequently caring for my own needs and have a break from my family-I am happy to return the favor to my husband.  It is healthy for both us to get away and have some time by ourselves or with other people.  When he tells me about something he wants to do, or a trip he is planning, I am happy to know that it's just one in the bank for me!

So, if you feel like reaching out and strangling your partner next time he tells you he is going to do something for himself, check your calender to see the last time you got away.  I bet it's been a while.