FOLLOW UP TO: significant other not following my manual

Original post and response pasted below.

What if I don’t want to feel agreeable regarding what I see as his lack of contribution?

I have thoughts like “I know I can’t control him however I don’t want a partner that doesn’t contribute.” But also, I think that I don’t want to be generally frustrated, angry and disappointed on a regular basis either.

I’m trying to figure out how I want to feel about this.

Possible believable bridge thoughts may be:

Thought: “He does contribute in other ways. ”
Feeling: powerless? apathetic?

Thought: “There is no perfect partner” <- very believable to me however, I’m not sure if it will get me to a reasonable place either
Feeling: resigned

Thought: “I don’t do many of the things he wants me to do either” <- probably the best
Feeling: accepting? (however, then again do I want to feel accepting regarding this)

I’m not sure why I’m so opposed to moving to feeling accepting or even agreeable but I keep coming back to this thought that a partner is supposed to equally contribute…. or I want a new partner. (wow that’s harsh)

After further thought, I do want to come from a place of love. I can not agree with his behavior and how he is showing up in our relationship but still love him. I’m just not sure how to get there yet.

To answer your final question: I guess the only way would be to change my thoughts. First, I have to get to a place were I want to change my thoughts. It’s interesting because I’m wanting to hold on to these thoughts about what “he’s supposed to do.” But it doesn’t look like they are serving me and I don’t like the feelings or results that are created. I’m still hoping for a way to change the C.


Last year my domestic partner cut back working to part-time while working full time with overtime. At the time, I felt that this was a reasonable decision. I agreed and liked his/our reasons for making the decision. However, I’m not sure if it was explicitly stated or inferred that when he cut back at work, he would do more house projects. When we first started dating, I felt like he was one of the hardest working people I knew, and I really loved and respected this quality. Now I notice that he does much less than he used to when working full time and spends a significant portion of his day on YouTube.

I’m often frustrated and disappointed by this. I have many negative thoughts around this regarding him and regarding our current relationship.

My current model:
C: E worked 1 hour on the house today
T: he needs to do more
F: disappointed
A: show up towards him and remark on my perceived lack of his contribution in a negative way, question if I want to stay committed to this relationship, question if I should continue my work/financial goals, consider changing our financial arrangement and separating our bank accounts/finances, react towards him in a nonloving manner, be unsupportive of his interests, repeat my desires to him in a repeated manner (he would call this nagging)
R: I do not create the relationship I desire.

However, I’m not sure what I want my future/ideal model to be without changing the circumstance. I do want to have a great, loving, committed relationship with this guy, but I am not sure if I want to be committed to a person that doesn’t “carry their own weight.” I logically understand that I can not control him.

I feel stuck on if I should have a solution-focused mindset on ways to get the tasks I want to be completed and feeling like he is making a contribution or if I should work on changing my thoughts. At this point, I’m not sure I want to change my thoughts or if I like my reasons for the thoughts, but when I try to dig deeper here, I feel like I’m hitting a mental roadblock.

Hi Scholar,

A manual is a set of rules that we have for others about how we would like them to act because we believe it will make us happy. This is not true because we are responsible for our own happiness.
Adults are free to choose and do whatever they like, and we can not control them. We are responsible for our own needs, happiness and to manage ourselves.

C: “E” worked 1 hour on the house today
T: He decides how he wants to spend his time.
F: Agreeable
A: Continue my work/financial goals, consider changing the financial arrangement and/or separating our bank accounts/finances, make a request “E” to help more around the house or change his working situation, allow “E” to make his own choices, be responsible for my decisions and happiness.
R: I create my own happiness and take care of myself no matter what “E” does or doesn’t do.

How can you feel better without “E” changing and still have a great, loving, committed relationship?