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Are you and your OH a team?

(16 Posts)
jamaisjedors Fri 19-Aug-16 17:51:16

Just realised recently by observing other couples that dh and I are not really a team.

I think a lot of it comes from me. For example I'm usually more worried about inconveniencing other people than DH.

We don't really put each other first (or even second after the DC) and would like to fix that but am not sure how.

My parents were very definitely NOT a team, used us kids in the struggle with each other and I occasionally find myself doing this too and would really like to stop.

Any tips on how to be a team?

TheSparrowhawk Fri 19-Aug-16 18:03:48

Kindness, communication and respect.

DH and I weren't a team because he saw his life and work as more important than mine. He didn't respect me and as a result I lost respect for him. I was on the verge of divorcing him.

What changed things was him maturing very quickly. He realised how much work I put into the family, day in and day out, and how much he took that for granted. He also faced up to his sexist and immature attitudes to housework and childcare.

So now we're a team. We know we're both doing our level best and we appreciate each other's efforts. We don't score points or play tit-for-tat, we just do what needs doing. We are kind - we try to make life easier for each other. We tell each other what we need and we communicate our feelings calmly.

To be a team you have to have genuinely shared goals and an agreement on how to achieve them. Any resentment, manipulation, passive aggression, selfishness will stand in the way of that.

jamaisjedors Fri 19-Aug-16 18:09:02

Thank you. Nice to hear from someone who has turned things around.

You're right, there is a lot of resentment and some selfishness going on.

I struggle to be kind because I always feel I'm being taken for a mug and find it hard to stop the tit for tat rallying in my head.

jamaisjedors Fri 19-Aug-16 18:09:21

Tallying... Not rallying

ElspethFlashman Fri 19-Aug-16 18:15:57

We were staying at a friend's for a week and halfway through after observing our bedtime routine she remarked "You two are a team. We're not a team, really"

It bothered her but she hadn't much control. Her husband was a parental saboteur and had been for years. She would patiently sit down with him and they would thrash out boundaries and a schedule for their kid, and then the kid would kick up and he would fold like a pack of cards and "just this once" would do the exact opposite they agreed. And my friend looked like the uptight harpy, Mean Mummy.

He would agree to loads of family social events every weekend without consulting her and when she would point out, fuming, that their child was sick and not up for trekking across London, he would pfffttt and brush her off as fine.

We are a lot more synchronised. We stick with the plan, and consult each other before any change to the plan. We keep it simple. Together.

At the end of the day it's about keeping respect for each other paramount.

WowOoo Fri 19-Aug-16 18:21:45

No, we are not always a team but we're working on it!

Some rules: Don't undermine each other in front of the kids, don't discuss hot topics in front of the kids i.e have a parenting argument about bedtimes/screentime etc, try to make sure these kids get to bed or go to their rooms at a decent time so that we can actually talk about stuff.
We will talk about stuff and we definitely argue. It's hard work isn't it?!

If we don't have time we text. We have done in front of the children at a 'family' meal! (Please don't give ds the phone to look for Pokemon just because he's bored of my friend talking.)

Dakin1 Fri 19-Aug-16 18:26:13

My advice would be praise and reward when OH does act like a team player.

'I love the way you cook'


'you are a brilliant at getting the kids ready for bed.'

You both have to be on board and genuinely want to make a better life for you as a unit rather than just yourself.

Do kind things for each other and It will naturally turn into mutual appreciation

Bee182814 Fri 19-Aug-16 18:28:41

I'm place marking a bit here as I sometimes feel we are a great team and at other times feel that were working against each other and not appreciating or respecting what the other does. I feel as a shame that DHs problems with work etc are always bigger and more important than mine and he doesn't give my issues any sort of airtime as I don't think he respects what I do most of the time. Other days he's really grateful. It's really hard isn't it.

Wow- we've started doing the texting thing too grin

Bee182814 Fri 19-Aug-16 18:29:21

Sahm not shame

Dakin1 Fri 19-Aug-16 18:36:48

My advice would be praise and reward when OH does act like a team player.

'I love the way you cook'


'you are a brilliant at getting the kids ready for bed.'

You both have to be on board and genuinely want to make a better life for you as a unit rather than just yourself.

Do kind things for each other and It will naturally turn into mutual appreciation

Dowser Fri 19-Aug-16 20:31:43

Yes, but he's my second husband and we don't have children or job or pets pulling us in different directions and although we have different opinions on loads of different topics we have love and respect.

It was never like that first time around.

WingsofNylon Fri 19-Aug-16 21:00:47

Respect and kindness play a bit part. We operate at a team most of the time. People have commented on it and so I've taken note to do the same behaviour again. we get out of sync sometimes but one or both of us will soon chirp up and mention it. We sometimes even go a bit American and refer to ourselves as a team blush

prioritymail Sat 20-Aug-16 01:10:58

I feel the same as you a lot of the time jamais, you're def not alone in this! Thanks for asking the question, I'll also be interested to read advice from other Mnetters! Hang in there smile

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 20-Aug-16 01:21:28

Yes we are a team. We've been together a long time. Close friends joke about how everything is a negotiation with us: we always make sure everything is scrupulously fair. No one is taking anyone for a mug.

For example "I'll cook dinner and clear up if you supervise homework."

We are a team because of the constant tit for tat rallying not despite it.

RJnomore1 Sat 20-Aug-16 01:26:17

We are.

We like each other.
We trust each other.
We have our own in jokes.

We disagree and getvthibgszetobg but we both want the same end outcomes abdicate pull together to get them.

jamaisjedors Sun 21-Aug-16 15:26:14

Thanks for the replies.

I think we share the parenting work fairly evenly, but its definitely not "us against the world" for other things.

An example is that I often walk on ahead because I naturally walk fast and never think to look back or wait for dh. Today I did, and dh said what are you waiting for, go on.

Actually sounds pretty silly now I've written it down!

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