Kirra, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads

Sunday 06 July 2014

How to Achieve Peaceful Coupledom

Using "Titles" to Manage Relationship "Roles"

Assigning roles and titles within a coupledom can give a powerful alchemy that naturally dissolves many disputes. Here is some of the 'how to' of apportioning "business-style" titles in relationships to promote peace.
1. Decide who will be the CEO. There can be only one CEO!
Husband and I came upon the wisdom of doing this after many a barney in domestic finance, especially at tax time. "Timetabled" husband was notoriously sloppy with the admin and paperwork. “Shrew” was notoriously ‘anal’ with the records.
When we agreed to apportion titles amongst ourselves, in the same way that any corporation would, peace reigned. The secret to this is to formally take, and acknowledge, and then act out, the titles that are most suited to each person’s natural skills.  Divvy up the titles that neither prefers nor is good at, by declared agreement.
2. There is great power in each writing down the titles agreed.
When it came to the title of CEO for "timetabled & shrew", we had both very competently been "captains of our own individual lives and business ships" before marrying. We were both used to fully delegating and supervising and being the 'big picture' innovator with sole responsibility for all. Clearly this would not work as a couple.
After a couple of our first years of me running our home office, purely by assumption of that role and husband "allowing" me to - because he wanted to be congenial and was himself tired of having previously, for some decades, been a domestic partner with almost sole responsibility - it became evident that I, as our sole office person, was neither efficient nor very pleasurable for either of we. Personality tussles ensued. I had simply fallen into assuming to do all our household office requirements for we as a couple.
3.  Heed 'The 4 Agreements' (of Miguel Ruiz): "Never Assume Anything"
I observed and realized, and we discussed, that I had slid into the role of our office person merely via my habit of 9 years as a single mother running a business and fully doing all the roles of "Mother/Father and Provider".
And that this wonderful man, now in the role of my husband, by the nature of evolution and his genetics and age, actually needed to 'be in charge'. Hence, the singular title of CEO was now his.
4. There can be 2 or more "directors" - assign these roles according to preferences
He was far superior with 'figures' than I, hence he took "accounts" and "financial adviser", and I, "admin".  He, best at "people troubleshooting and solving", took "public relations".  And I, a creative, took "design and development".
We never again had any level of 'barney' regarding anything to do with our office tasks and these 'roles' were applicable in our domestic story too, which, seemingly by osmosis, also became far more peaceable. Our agreed 'roles' eliminated the need for 'discussion' of many issues that previously had often required lengthy debate. Practicality and task completion and innovation took on their own organic efficiency.
Subjects previously loaded with individual desire and emotional preference of outcome, simply fell into their own place of ease for all involved. I can see how this “business titles” resolution to constant tensions in a household could also extend to include the children.
Relinquishing my long-held role as my own CEO was actually not as difficult as imagined. It’s merely an ego title.  I am "my own Sovereign Being" as is everyone.  I didn’t then have a lot of attachment to any notion of "my job is who I am!" This detachment of perception can often be more difficult for a person in a man body. Amazingly, I found much freedom in releasing the "title of CEO" and its implications, to my hubby. I was then free to focus on my more natural ability to conceive and birth the new, while he was more happily able to still be "the big picture", overview, "in – charge", one.
“Timetabled” became less 'sloppy' with his paperwork and “shrew” became far less likely to point any finger of 'not-good-enoughness' she might have before been inclined to!  From then on, when 'timetabled' lurched toward avoiding paperwork by simply throwing it all out, or 'shrew' plundered toward 'critical comment' on "timetable's" choices....we instead, both just laughed at those inner voice characters of ours ....tendencies. This always seemed to dissolve that potential “lurch and lunge” brewing of a dispute.
We also adopted this code to further avoid conflict arising, i.e., "Are you on the edge of a 'lurch', darling"?  Or, "oh no, 'lurch and lunge' aren’t positioning themselves for a joust are they?!" etc. This'd serve to be comment enough to dissipate many an unnecessary 'vexed vent'.
5. Sometimes a "vexed vent" can be quite mutually useful.
So long as we each don’t take it personally, as it occurs. When we removed ourselves from first person, direct, accusatory 'you' language, and defensive ‘I’ language, we were able to then find a 'vexed vent' also a very good 'tool' to dissipate tensions.
Zonti responds to this week’s reader’s letter from the "Relationship Wisdoms Oracle" file.
Dear Oracle,
"My wife and I constantly fight about housework/chores, our children's activities, and where and how to holiday. How do we agree with fairness on our own activities? How can we do these without a major row?"
Had Enough.
Dear Had Enough,
I hear your frustration. Employ some of the above suggestions. Know we all have many 'inner characters'…a full spectrum - from very heavy gross sabotaging ones, and all the way to kind, understanding, etc.  Learn to identify which of our own 'characters' are 'speaking' at any one time. Individually and together create ways to recognize and make light of the ‘mischievous characters’ from within and resolve to discipline ourselves to encourage expression through our more pleasant character voices and take responsibility for our more 'antzy' ones. Also, always remember and emulate how you related with each other when you were most freshly enamored with each other.
In ALL love,
Relationship Wisdoms Oracle