Have you been or are you presently in a relationship? If you answered “Yes” to either or both of those questions, then I am confident you will also answer “Yes” to my next question.
And my question is this – in said relationship, has there been a recurring argument? One that seems to go on and on, whatever the duration of the relationship. One that seems incapable of resolution.
Now said argument may not necessarily be about something meaningful. It could be quite trivial – how late your partner stays out drinking with their mates (Not Applicable here). Whether they leave the toilet seat up all the time (He grew up in a house of three formidable women. So – Not Applicable). Or maybe it’s about how often and long they go kite surfing/windsurfing/bike riding (Most definitely could be applicable – however not the argument I am thinking of).
Or maybe it is about something more serious. Things like how your partner looks after their own health – are they a smoker who refuses to quit?
Or lifestyle choice arguments – where to live; whether or not to have children; whether they support your football team or not.
We certainly have at least one of these recurring arguments in our relationship. For any of you who were at my 40th birthday party, you might recall my friends Paula and Sharon acting out a ‘scene’ of Chris and I having a ‘discussion’. And yes – it was about money. More particularly, how I spend more of it than Chris is happy with. Regularly.
Circumstances over the last year or so have left me with absolutely no choice but to curb my spending habits. I have had to learn that living on a budget actually means, living within one’s means. One’s real means, not the means one imagines one has.
I am pleased and somewhat still in shock about saying, that for the first time in my adult life I have been credit and store card free for the last 21 months. Not that I am counting or anything.
So while we were short of funds over the time I was studying, my new reduced spending habits meant money became less of an argument. Until now, when it has raised it’s ugly ahead again.
And why – because of the other recurring argument in our marriage. The deep and meaningful question of – whether to contract out cleaning or not.
In short, I have long prescribed to the following two-part theory:-
- Life is too short, especially when you work hard and have young children, to spend hours of your weekend cleaning the house. There are better things to do with your time. You should be spending every precious moment enjoying your life.
- To quote one of my lawyer bosses many years ago – “People shouldn’t dabble in things they aren’t expert in”. Ok, he was speaking about conveyancing. But to mine, this is gold and equally applicable to cleaning. Why clean when you hate it, and you really aren’t very good at it*. Instead, bring in the experts.
*I blame my adoptive mother. She quite literally followed me from room to room cleaning up after me. How was I ever going to learn to clean when I had a built-in maid to do it for me? It was a very rude awakening for me in my first share house, when my housemates staged an intervention to explain I needed to clean up after myself.
Back to the argument. So that is my theory. Chris subscribes to the theory, handed down from his father (an accountant) that you shouldn’t pay for anything you can do yourself.
From time to time my theory has been accepted and we have engaged a cleaner. Oh happy days. There really is joy to be had in coming home to a sparkling clean home.
The argument is reborn now because with my new job, I say we are back in a position to pay for a cleaner. Chris says there are better ways to use my wages. Things like, accruing savings.
Who is going to win this round I wonder?
Perhaps if I wait till kite surfing season starts again I increase my odds. Hang on, that would be “compromising”. Now that’s another post altogether.
Cheers till next time,