I'm probably a bit too old to be on these threads, but I need some unbiased perspective, so here I am.
I'm in a live-in relationship with my partner for a bit over a year. We keep having this recurring fight about chores and how I fail to uphold my end of the tasks. I do forget very often and while I end up getting a boost and maintaining a routine for a month or so, I end up falling back to not doing them.
From my perspective, I have gotten better, forgetting/neglecting to do lesser things off my list as and when I bounce back. But this has become an exhausting task for my partner, who is tired of having to repeatedly badger me. He tends to explode in frustration all at once.
I feel horrible about being the way I am. I'd really like to improve and have been/am actively working on it, but I don't like being so frustrating to my partner.
Is this a normal thing? Or are we maybe incompatible? I don't want to give up on us, but I don't like feeling like I'm a burden in the household. Some perspective from those with more experience than I would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Hey OddEggplant859 -- welcome to the boards! When there's a reoccurring problem in a relationship, it's important that both people understand what they're bringing to the situation. I think you did a very good job of identifying that on your end and you seem very clear about you'd like to change. To answer your question, yes, being forgetful and not always being able to stay organized is a very normal. Some people experience this less than others, and this might be the case for your partner. Though frustrating, I don't think it's something that could make you incompatible all by itself. What could cause incompatibility here is the inability to communicate well and the inability to come up with solutions together for what's been happening. How do you talk about the chores with your partner? Is it always just the badgering, or do you check in over the week about it? While I do think there's some room to find solutions on your end, I want to also suggest that your partner could work on ways to gently communicate with you that doesn't make you feel so disappointed in yourself. Does that feel accurate?
How do you and your partner divide chores? What does he do and what do you do? Is there anything you can switch or take turns doing? Also, when you have been doing well with chores, what was different and what changes over time?
I do want to also say that - in my life - my struggle with similar issues was a symptom of undiagnosed Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD manifests in many different ways for people, and for me it was daily executive functioning tasks like planning, focusing attention, remembering instructions, and juggling multiple tasks successfully. Would you ever consider getting evaluated by a specialist to get some answers?
Well we do have some chores that we've divided, but a general group of them are mine since I work from home. The ones I tend to forget are more of a once in a week/once in two weeks type of chore, so we notice it when it's not been done for a bit. He did check in with me, but I don't know. I hate doing chores, especially the organizational type, and I put it off when I have other things happening.
I have asked him to be more gentle while speaking to me, which he has gotten better at, but I know it's my fault for procrastinating it when I remember it. So I end up feeling disappointed anyway. I've been working on just doing things as I remember them, and using this habit tracker app to keep a list of things. But when work gets too demanding, it's harder to not procrastinate.
I'd like to get evaluated, but I'm not sure how to go about it. I haven't been able to keep up with therapy because of financial and scheduling issues. I've always not been good with repetitive tasks like chores, since they bore me easily, but I know that's not an excuse to just not do anything.
I'm glad you've been able to ask him to be gentler when you talk about the chore issues, and that you're taking steps to try and track/remind yourself of things that you need to do. When using the habit tracker, does it feel like you're still forgetting to do the chores you entered into it? Or is it more that you don't prioritize them when things like work demand more of your attention and energy?
When it comes to getting evaluated, can you say a little more about what avenues you've tried for therapy that have turned out to be financially unsustainable?
Sorry for the late reply. I use the habit tracker for a while, until I end up forgetting about the habit tracker? By then I know what I'm supposed to do, which lasts for a while, but because I lose the habit of using the tracker, the other habits also fade away eventually, if that makes sense.
I downloaded a new one recently, after another fight with him about chores and other stuff. The tracker is more gamification of the habits, and since I like to play games, I think it might help keep me on it for longer than the others at the very least.
The fight itself was a big disillusionment when it comes to the relationship, but I think talking about it on this thread would derail the conversation. Spoiler: it wasn't very gentle at all.
I have mentally assigned myself the role of the housekeeper after the recent fight, so I think that has also helped. I was approaching the issue as a 50/50 thing, so it became easy for me to let some chores slide since he would do them. But the role assigning has given me a bigger sense of responsibility for the house.
I've tried both traditional and online therapy. Mostly with the aim of managing my anxiety and bouts of depression. I am socially anxious, not sure if I am depressed since I haven't been to therapy for months now. I haven't been specifically for the purpose of evaluation, since I thought if I did have ADHD or any other diagnosis it would come up organically in the session. I don't want to diagnose myself and then seek therapy to confirm that, since I don't find that to be authentic, if that makes sense?
Sometimes it can take many iterations to find a system that works for us. I know that it has taken me years to find organizational and tracking systems that work for me because they are so individual. It's good to hear that you have reflected on yourself and are trying a new habit tracker that blends in some of your other hobbies.
Gosh, I'm sorry to hear that this most recent fight did not go well, especially after the conversations that you have had about wanting a gentler tone when you communicate with each other. If you are feeling the need to process things that were said or realizations from that argument feel free to include them here or you can make another thread if that feels best for you.
Out of those different types of therapy treatment, was one of them, either in person or virtual, feasible either logistically or financially? Or what were the specific barriers you faced with them?
You mentioned not feeling comfortable asking for an evaluation due to fears of a diagnosis then being unauthentic; however, having a formal evaluation will not be swayed by whether you or your therapist were the first to bring it up, it is a completely independent process. I know many people who were the first to question if they had a specific diagnosis and sought out a professional to learn more about it, talk about their experience, and work together to better figure out what was going on. Have you talked with a therapist in the past about some of the difficulties with tasks you have had or have those conversations been more situated around the anxiety and depression you have experienced?
The therapy was initially viable financially, but my psychologist ended up raising her prices since she got more training and experience. It was virtual, which makes sense to me since I don't have to travel to a physical location. I live in a relatively rural area, so there aren't many people that I could go to nearby.
I'm also hesitant to go to another one, since we did make a lot of progress in therapy, and I don't want to go through all the motions with someone new.
I did discuss the issue casually, but we'd focused more on anxiety and depression.
The fight was very demeaning. He called me names and basically tore me down. I don't know what to think of it, since some of what he said was right. I'm aware of my faults and am actively working on them, but I feel like there's this expectation of being perfect, which I'm not. He did apologize for it soon after. But I wasn't feeling okay about it a few days later as well. So I brought it up again, but he responded with, "I've already apologized, and I am sorry and I didn't mean any of what I said. What more do you want?"
I'm not sure what to make of it. For now, I'm just ignoring it and working on the chores thing, since that's what I can do. Plus that was what brought everything on, so maybe if I get better it won't happen again.
I do feel like I'm reaching my limit when it comes to this kind of fighting. I prefer to sit and talk about an issue instead of all this. So I'll probably draw a more firm line later on.
It does sound like it's time for a bigger conversation with him about conflict and how the way he's acting during arguments now needs to stop. Not only is yelling and calling your partner names not a good way to actually resolve an issue, it's not a kind way to treat them, period. Plenty of people get frustrated in their relationships but address that in a way that doesn't leave the other person feeling crappy about days later. Do you think he'd be open to having that conversation with you so the two of you can figure out how to address those conflicts in a less hurtful way going forward?
Too, are the fights the only time he talks to you that way? Or does he do similar things when you're just talking sometimes?
As far as therapy, do you think your therapist would be open to referring you to someone else if you can no longer afford her sessions and she can't take you as a client on a sliding scale (I'm assuming you asked about keeping the old, or at least a lower, rate but if not that may be something to try)? That way you wouldn't have to start from square one in terms of finding a therapist, and there's a chance she could pass on information so you don't have to go back over a bunch of things with the new therapist.
I've brought it up to him a few times, and this time as well I did mention it. It's something he needs to work on since that's how he speaks to everyone basically. Like when he gets frustrated it's a bit hard for him to hold his tongue. I have seen him improve, especially because it does damage professional relationships when he gets harsh, but in moments of extreme stress, he reverts back. Most of the time I have been able to tell him to tone it back and speak better, but this time it just wasn't happening. He's been stressed at work as well, so I understand, but I know it doesn't make it okay.
It's only when we fight, which isn't often. We have silly arguments/debates, but we generally get along. He used to be harsh during the debates as well, but I drew a firm line since I don't want a partner that lacks a certain level of empathy. Since then the debates have been a lot more healthy. His father isn't the best and I'm pretty sure that's where it comes from, cause his mum's normal and warm. I believe some therapy would help, but he's hesitant plus he has no time cause of work. I might bring it up again.
She did mention a sliding scale, but I think it wasn't working out even then. I shall ask her to refer me to someone else, I actually didn't think about that so thanks! Another issue with therapy has been that I can't access it when I go to my parent's place. I might be going for a bit sometime soon, so it tends to break the flow of therapy, but there's nothing much I can do about that I guess.
I hope it's okay that I'm jumping in here! I'm glad that you've spoken to your partner about this, I know it can be difficult. I'm also glad that you're acknowledging that this behavior is not okay! That's a very important step. It seems like you're already aware but your partner should really work on redirecting his anger and stress before it gets him into even more trouble. As you mentioned--you may be patient with him, but we're not too sure about those in a professional setting. I understand what it's like to feel stressed with work, but openly reacting to it with anger, especially geared towards other people, can only make the overall situation worse. I think you're doing the right thing by navigating his behavior and telling him when he is acting up, but I also don't want all of this responsibility to fall onto you. Especially in addition to how he already treats you. It may be very emotionally and mentally taxing. Are you feeling this way at all?
My partner and I like to have silly arguments/debates on pop culture and politics--which are pretty healthy and help us expand our views on certain topics. I'm glad you're partner has been getting better in that area. As for therapy for him, I think it wouldn't hurt to sit down and discuss some brief openings in his schedule, as most therapy sessions can be an hour or less. It also could be beneficial to bring up therapy through telehealth if that's more accessible!
As for your own experience with therapy, definitely don't hesitate to ask your therapist for referrals! I mentioned telehealth for accessibility purposes, so that may be an option for you as well. What do you think?