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Changing behaviour patterns

(1 Post)
iisme Fri 11-Mar-16 09:37:30

DH and I have been together 20 years and have two DCs (8 and 6), and generally things are good. However, we do argue quite a bit and this is definitely worse now things are so hectic with children, etc. There is a bit of fault in both of us here, but I'm aware of two behaviour patterns I'm following that are not helpful and I want to change.

One is that I tend to be very critical of him, always noticing the bad rather than the good. For example, I was recently away and he stepped in without any fuss to take over all the childcare, housekeeping, etc. He works full-time and I work part-time, so this means it's hard for him to cover, and I do go away a lot (mostly for work). He is always happy to do this. When I came back, the children were on great form, the house was looking in pretty good shape, but there was one job that I had expected him to do that he hadn't. Although I was grateful for all he had done, the first thing I commented on was this undone job. I was kind of stressed about it and felt like it really should have been done, though in retrospect it was ok to leave it a little longer. He was understandably pissed off by my attitude.

The second thing I do is take him for granted too much and not make enough effort. We have very hectic lives - I have a very demanding job and do several things outside of work as well, there's constant stuff for the children, etc., etc. When I get home I just want to veg out and not make an effort. Kind of understandable I guess, but I feel like I've relegated our relationship to something that doesn't require any effort to be put in, which is not healthy. I'm often cheery and upbeat at work but then grumpy and tired with him because I can be - like I put on a front with work but don't want to put on a front with him. But I also don't want to show the worst side of myself to him all the time!

This has been going on for a while I guess but is highlighted as our lives are quite stressful at the moment. I really want to get on top of this but I'm not sure how. I've tried just behaving differently but always seem to slip into the old habits. I've tried mindfulness, but without much effect.

Does anyone have any suggestions? CBT, maybe? Therapy?

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