planning with your partner

How often have you had this conversation with your partner?

You: You have to go pick up the kids from soccer in 15 minutes.

Partner: Me? I thought you were doing it.

You: {Sighing} I drove the kids to school. Then I came home and did laundry. Then I picked them up from school. Came home and did snack. Then I drove them to soccer and back.

Partner: Well I worked all day! I don’t want to have to go back out now.

This Is How That Convo Goes In My World:

I just had this conversation. Well, the first part of it. Fortunately, my husband is fairly agreeable, so our convo went like this:

Me: You have to pick up the kid from theater in 15 minutes.

Husband: Me? I thought you were doing it.

Me: Smiles.

Husband: Smiles back {possibly with a slight eye roll}.

If he weren’t so agreeable, this would become an issue. I could feel my frustration mounting deep down inside when he even so much as hinted that he hadn’t expected to do it.

After all, I had just spent 1.5 hours driving the kids to school this morning. Then, I spent 1.5 hours picking them up at noon (early dismissal… ugh). I had even texted him at one point suggesting that he stick around town after work so he wouldn’t have to leave the house again to go pick up the kids. I thought he knew that he was the one to go get them.

Again, we’re pretty cool with this shit. But if he were a less agreeable husband, like so many are, this would have caused yet another resentment-filled conversation. Or no conversation, just resentment.

Does this sound familiar?

Even in my scenario, I could have eliminated all frustration by doing some planning the night before.

It would have looked like this:

Me: Tomorrow is a crazy day because the kids have early dismissal.

Husband: They’re starting winter break already? Ugh.

Me: I know.

Husband: So you get to come home and chill.

Me: {scowling} No I don’t. I get to come home and finish up some writing deadlines, and then I have to drive the kid to theater at 3:30.

Husband: {nodding knowingly} Oh, right.

Me: Since I’m going to have to come into town and go back home twice tomorrow already, can you pick the kid up from theater at 5?

Husband: Sure!  {smiles, winks, and proceeds to make out with me}

Ok, not so much that last part—well, depending on the situation.

But the rest of it would’ve happened. And there would have been no hard feelings, no simmering frustration and no harboring resentment.

That’s called planning.

Lack Of Planning Is Why You Hate Your Husband

Well, I mean, there could be other reasons. But hear me out.

You think you’re a planner, right? I mean, you plan all the shit. Down to the time you’re going to take a shit.

Ok, maybe not that far, but you plan out your meals. Your appointments. Which errands you’re going to run and when. Your kid’s soccer tournaments.

And then you don’t plan shit when it comes to communicating with your husband.

How’s that working out for you?

The “Who Does More In The Relationship” Scenario

It’s probably leaving you with that feeling that you’re always doing more than your partner. You start getting resentful of any free time that your partner has. But you just plug along, planning in your own head, neglecting to communicate it with your partner, and feeling frustrated and resentful.

News flash: Planning with your partner is a big part of helping you get out of a relationship rut.

And I’m not talking about sitting in front of the calendar and planning the big stuff, like early dismissals at school and soccer games. I’m talking about planning alllll that little shit that makes you resentful.

Here’s another scenario. Totally hypothetical. Or whatever.

You spend 2 hours in the kitchen every afternoon cooking dinner. Your spouse gets home, you all eat, he clears his dish, washes like 2 dishes in the sink, and sits down on the couch. You spend another 20 minutes cleaning up all of the baking sheets and pots and pans that you used. Plus, you have to wipe down the table, counter and stove. While you do this, you sigh under your breath. Does he not realize how much time you spent making dinner? That’s about 2.5 hours now that you’ve devoted to dinner, and he gets to sit on the couch?

So when bedtime comes, you kind of ignore the chaos that’s going on between your kids trying to pee on each other and refusing to open their mouths to get their teeth brushed. You’re either in the bathroom or checking something super important on your phone. Your husband gets frustrated that you never help with bedtime. But you’re sitting pretty—you just did all of the dinner tasks, so you feel justified in letting him do all the work now.

So how does this situation end up? You are both resentful.

The Planning Communication Script

What if you could tackle this differently? What if you could start planning out your communication better in the new year? What would this look like?

I’m going to give you the script. This is exactly what you’ll need to start better planning and communication with your partner, and the new year is a great time to start it.


Because it’s an excuse to start fresh. You’re not going to come at your partner with a list of demands in the heat of frustration. Instead, you’re going to set it up like the neutral, objective planning session that it is.

Here’s the script for planning better with your partner:

You: So the new year is coming.

Partner: Yep.

You: I’ve been thinking about really getting organized with stuff around the house (or whatever is happening that’s making you feel resentful or that you know is making your partner feel resentful).

Partner: Okayyyyy…

You: I know there’s stuff that we both do that seems unequal to the other person.

Partner: Like what?

You: Like when you put the kids to bed and I sit there staring at my phone. I know that bugs you.

Partner: {lying} No, I don’t mind.

You: Really? Because I feel like you huff and puff every time you do it.

Partner: Well, I could use a little help.

You: So can we talk about the stuff that we need help with from the other person and maybe set up some better planning for the new year? What do you feel like you need more help with?

And blah-di blah-di blah.

Tricks For Making Planning Communication Go Well:

  1. Doing it in a neutral zone (not when you’ve just experienced the frustration).
  2. Asking the other person how they need help. Once they’ve had a chance to express themselves, they’ll be much more receptive to your requests for help.
  3. Now that you’re both on an even playing field, you can hammer out some details.
  4. Don’t forget this final step—set up a protocol for doing this kind of planning in the future. This might look like you saying, “I don’t want you to feel like you need help and you’re not getting it. How can we have a planning session like this when those situations come up?” And then the two of you can brainstorm ideas. Should you have a planning meeting every week? Are you both receptive to receiving written notes when things begin to feel resentful? Make an agreement at this point to be able to express these thoughts—which are really just requests for help—without the other person taking it personally.

If you don’t plan this stuff ahead of time, you’ll always feel resentful. And resentment blocks those feelings that you’re so dying to get back in your marriage: the connection, the intimacy and the passion.

What Happens If Your Partner Responds In Anger?

See the following blog post: Is Your Husband an Asshole? #kiddingnotkidding

If your husband immediately gets defensive when you bring up the situation, maybe you have some other issues to work through. Remember to phrase the conversation as a “How can we help each other” scenario and not a “This is what I need to not resent you” scenario.

Remember, you are in a relationship with someone you love. You care about their needs too. Show them that as you work through your own needs too.

You don’t want to resent your partner. You also don’t want your partner to resent you.

This is a win-win. If your partner isn’t willing to help you, what kind of partner do you have?

Then, you might need therapy. Or something beyond therapy. But that’s not what I’m getting into right now.

The Bottom Line

So for the next several days until the new year, since you’re cooling it on all that planning you were doing anyway (or stopping all the judgment you give yourself because you’re not a planner), try planning this one thing.

Plan some communication with your partner or spouse. Because that can open up a world where you’re truly reconnecting again. It can also bring you the help—and the peace and balance—that you seek so much. Seriously, it can help you with the whole getting your shit together thing.

This post is part of a 12-day challenge. If you want to start getting your shit together from the beginning, check out the previous days of the challenge:

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 1

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 2

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 3

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 4

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 5

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 6

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 7