Are your hormones responsible for your break up?

If you read any of John Gray’s books, e.g. ‘Men are from Mars Women are from Venus’, you will see that he talks about women needing to keep their oxytocin levels topped up. He says that women can do this by having ‘bonding time’ with other women. What he writes sound perfectly feasible to me, women need to talk things through to solve problems, men need to go away and think about it, or work out a practical solution. This difference is often the cause of arguments and relationship break ups between men and women. Check out this link for the scientific view on oxytocin – who knows we might one day be able to solve our relationship issues by taking a pill!

However, right now, if you need to get your life or your relationship back on track there isn’t an easy fix – you have to do some work! Even if you are taking medication to treat depression it is more effective if you exercise regularly, have daily routines and make the effort to meet regularly with one or two friends.

So, you don’t have the magic pill, what are you going to do?

First, identify the feeling you don’t want, second decide what feeling you want to replace it with and third, take action to change the situation and create the feeling you have chosen.

If you feel that you are being taken for granted, either at work or at home, that will probably be accompanied by feelings of frustration or annoyance towards the people you feel are taking advantage of you.

First, you don’t like being taken for granted or feeling annoyed.
Second, you would rather feel appreciated and happy with your home or work situation.
Third, the action to take might look a bit like this, you take a long hard look at the situation, note down the pros and cons, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and make a note of the pros and cons from that point of view. Have an imaginary conversation with the other person, remember to own your feelings and resist blaming.

E.g. Jackie, when would be a good time for us to have a chat about how things are going just now. You make a time and…..
“Jackie, I’d appreciate your perspective on this, I’m happy helping out with jobs at home, getting the odd thing from the supermarket, collecting Timmy from school and taking him to soccer, but it seems that over the last few months we’ve both been very busy. I’ve also been doing the full weekly shop and the laundry. I don’t mind doing these things some of the time, but I don’t have enough time to do all of that and the garden and keep the cars clean. I can see that you are busy too but I’m feeling very tired, we don’t seem to have any down time. I’d like us to take a look at our weekly schedule to see if we can do things some other way.

Here you have presented the problem without blaming Jackie for giving you more work. You have asked her to help you ‘fix’ the problem and you have told her how you feel, if Jackie is a partner worth her salt, she will see immediately that as a couple you need to do something differently so that you feel happier with your weekly schedule.

You could have come in one night and thrown down the shopping, saying, “Jackie, I’m sick of running around doing all the jobs, it’s time you did your share”
Which way is going to get the best result?

Taking time to reflect on the issue and talk it through with a view to getting a win / win result is certainly worth the effort.

Keeping your life on track or even getting your life back on track is not easy, but there are useful tips and strategies that will help you get where you want to be and feel happy while you do it – unless of course you prefer to wait around for the magic pill!

The little story above is true and the solution to the problem was to employ a neighbour to collect Timmy from school 2 afternoons each week, take him home and while she was there she did the laundry and vacuum cleaned the house. That gave Jackie and Clive time to do the shopping etc and relieved them of some household chores.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to do everything by yourself. A little help can go a long way.

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