Taking Turns Handling Responsibilities 

Sometimes couples argue about the same things over and over. It isn’t productive when people argue about the same things without making any changes. It can be helpful to switch responsibilities sometimes as an attempt to turn things around and make some changes. Switching things up can sometimes be enough to help solve the problem.

For example, if you argue each month about the household budget, look at what you can do to switch things up. If one person tends to do all the grocery shopping and meal planning, have the other person take over two weeks out of the month. Then determine if there are other places to make some changes that may or may not make things better but will be more productive than arguing about it.

Taking turns handling certain responsibilities can be helpful in a structured way also. Setting up a schedule can be helpful with this. Maybe one spouse handles the issue on odd days and the other spouse on even days. This can be helpful in reducing arguing.

Some couples have used this method with disciplining children. Although it is great when both parents can agree on how to discipline a child, in reality, most people disagree at times on when to discipline and how to do so. For some couples, taking turns can be helpful. Deciding that on even days one parent will be primarily in charge and on odd days, the other parent will be primarily in charge, can help parents argue less about this issue. It can also give the couple an opportunity to see what is working and what isn’t and can have a goal of helping them come together to decide on which form of discipline is likely to work best. Although this isn’t ideal, it can be better than arguing daily about which approach works best.

Be open minded to trying new approaches when something isn’t working. Be willing to share responsibilities and avoid trying to “win.” When your partner’s approach works well, be willing to accept that it may be a good idea. Also, be willing to share the responsibilities and let go of some fears that your partner won’t do it as well as you do. If he or she does something differently, it does not mean it is wrong.

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