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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of you guys have mutually beneficial arrangements and what happens if your spouse breaks the deal?

Say stuff like, you both dislike a given activity, chore or so on. So H agrees he will do the thing W dislikes if W will do the thing H dislikes.

Like, say, wife will get up in the night when the kids wake, if husband will get up with them in the morning.

Or wife will tidy the kitchen after dinner if husband will take out the trash.

The idea is one spouse does something for the other as the other dislikes that particular thing and the favor is returned so everyone is happy.

So what happens when one spouse does not uphold their end of the deal?

Do you give them a grace period and say if it happens again then the deal is off?

Or just a simple "you did not do your bit, let's cancel this?"

Or a negotiation, ie "this appears to not work for you, how can we fix it so we are bofh happy with this?"

And does it make a difference if the spouse who breaks the deal has done so before in the past? Or do you make an agreement knowing your spouse is likely to break it but swears they will not?
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I don't think these kinds of deals help much. If you have two people who aren't motivated doing things they're "ok with" just to avoid something they're "not ok with," eventually the ball will get dropped.

If you feel like these things have benefitted your relationship, then when the ball drops, I'd count my blessings for the times you were able to avoid the task you hated instead of focusing on the once that you did. "You've been so helpful about letting me sleep soundly through the night, and when I had to wake up last night, it reminded me just how much I appreciate that you do that for me."

If it becomes habitual that the partner doesn't keep his/her word, it is probably time to renegotiate. Anger isn't necessary for this.
 

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There are plenty of these "arrangements" in my marriage, but it's because (a) neither of us can do everything and (b) neither of us have the skill set to do some jobs.

I don't expect my wife to do house repairs. Yet I work 60 hours a week and the last thing I want to do is work around the house on my down time. But I have the skills, so that's what I do.

On the other hand, I have no laundry skills (unless you call dying all the white clothes pink a "skill"). My wife hates laundry but gets it done.

What happens when one of us doesn't live up to the arrangement? There's a discussion, help, understanding and it gets worked out.
 

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this sounds like a labor-management negotiation rather than a relationship between two people. it also sounds a bit like score keeping. and why agree to something with a certainty that it will not work out? all of this sounds like there is something more fundamentally wrong with the relationship if all is reduced to a tit for tat sort of equation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree to it because I choose to trust him. I can be cynical but IMO automatically stepping in with "there is *no way* you are gonna actually *do* that!" does not help matters lol. If H says he will do something, even if previously he has not kept to that, then I choose to take him at his word and let him prove himself.

To set the scene for this particular question.

H is off work over the festive period. I knew if we just sailed on in to it, I would end up getting up early with the kids every morning whilst he lays in. So I decided to be clear upfront to avoid any bad feeling. I offered to get up with the kids every morning whatever time they woke, so he can lay in for a while, but asked that he then get up for 9am to join us.

He enthusiastically agreed. I thought OK, good, everyone is happy with this. I thought positive and thought he would be appreciative of me giving him a break from his early work mornings so would happily join us a little later. The cynic in me thought, hang on, have I been foolish, the likelihood of him getting up then is slim. But then I countered no, trust in what he is saying.

And guess what... 11:30am he got up.

Now I know tomorrow he will drag himself out of bed to see the kids opening their presents. But the day after? And after that? What if he says OK I am sorry, I'll get up at 9am and continues not to? I do not want to be a nag but I do not want to feel taken advantage of, running round after the kids for half the day while he lazes in bed every morning...
 

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There are plenty of these "arrangements" in my marriage, but it's because (a) neither of us can do everything and (b) neither of us have the skill set to do some jobs.

I don't expect my wife to do house repairs. Yet I work 60 hours a week and the last thing I want to do is work around the house on my down time. But I have the skills, so that's what I do.

On the other hand, I have no laundry skills (unless you call dying all the white clothes pink a "skill"). My wife hates laundry but gets it done.

What happens when one of us doesn't live up to the arrangement? There's a discussion, help, understanding and it gets worked out.
Similar scenario here.
My husband & I both work long hours, I often have work that I take home with me as well.
There are chores that neither of us like to do, so we will work out a way for us to take turns doing said chores.
It's not equitable for one of us to do the particular chore more than the other, this way we equally are responsible for doing things we hate to do.
It works for us, with no resentment from either person because we share in these responsibilities.
And if one of us slacked off, EXPECTING the other to pick up the slack, you better believe there would be a discussion in the Phenix household.
 
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