Dear Ilana and Jess: My wife and I are getting into a lot of spats lately. When she asks me to do something, I feel like I’m being nagged. To be fair, I’m probably not doing enough. We really get on each other’s nerves; usually over chores. How can we cut out the bickering? - Elliot
Dear Elliot: You’re onto something here. If your wife has to ask you to fulfill a task multiple times, there’s probably an issue with initiative on your end. When she repeats herself a fourth time, she’s packing the frustration of three, successive, failed attempts. Rather than waiting for your wife to ask, set reminders for yourself so she doesn’t have to. If you can’t get around to something for any reason, give her a head’s up, for example: “Sweetie, I know you asked me to take out the trash. I’m catching up on some emails, so I didn’t get around to it yet. Just wanted to let you know I didn’t forget.”
That being said, perhaps the division of labor has not been clearly communicated. When it comes to who’s doing what, it’s important to actually have the conversation in which those decisions are made. Often times, couples assume the other will take care or one thing or another and that’s when you get into trouble. If you’re feeling frustrated, it’s possible that there are unspoken expectations between you and your wife. So, make sure to clarify those and bring them out into the open.
Say This: “Sweetie, I know you asked me to take out the trash. I’m catching up on some emails, so I didn’t get around to it yet. Just wanted to let you know I didn’t forget.”
Not That: “I said I’ll do it, so I’ll get around to it.”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
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