I am delighted to be a regular contributor to the Tubridy Show on 2FM.  Ryan is a nice guy and very easy and generous presenter to work with.

This week I spoke to him about Spousal Sacrifice – which is not about sacrificing your spouse but rather the sacrifices we make to keep our relationships on track.. and spouses in line!!

Of course being an old married woman of some 16 years I have learned all about ‘spousal sacrifice’ or the art of compromise.  I have previously detailed the big lesson I learned in a previous blog post called My Husbands Love Affair.  

But in advance of the programme and for journalistic balance I did undertake exhaustive research on this topic – both with my real life friends and my virtual friends via Twitter.  Here – in no particular order – are the main things that I found caused friction in the best of relationships!  I have not included families – because we all know about that one!

Sleep – yep… mismatched sleep patterns and/or one snorer in the bed. This is not something that me & him struggle with – we both sleep like logs and both snor (apparently… I know I doubt I do)… so happy days..  But a quick survey around a neighbour’s dinner table revealed that sleep – especially when one partner is a light sleeper is cause for major compromise or compassion and consideration on a large scale.  Mammies of teenagers seem to be particularly at risk of ‘not being able to sleep’ till all chickens are back in the roost.  Daddies don’t seem to have this problem as much – sweeping generalisation – but this is what my research found!!

Housework According to my research there seem to be a lot of women who compromise on the even division of labour in the home… in my experience most women (even those who work outside the home) end up doing the bulk of the domestic and kids stuff.  Most women I spoke to have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of men employ the “let’s make a hames of it and she will insist on doing it herself”  But the real issue with housework is…. laundry

Laundry – this specifically seems to be something that men cannot seem to get a handle on…  According to my research most of them seem to employ the “as sure chuck it all together’ method to washing.  My own dearly beloved once ‘did all the washing’ one Saturday when I was working.  “Every laundry basket is empty” he told me proudly.  At the time we lived in a town house with no garden and no spin dryer.  The only way to dry clothes was on rads and a clothes horse.  He hadn’t thought his washing through.  Most of the clothes rotted before I could get them dry!!!!  Apparently he is not alone!

Bathroom – the open door policy, sharing of bodily functions… might initially be kind of romantic.. but isn’t.  Men seem to think that witnessing them pee is a sign of real intimacy.  IT IS NOT.  This is the reason why I never want an ensuite… across the landing is bad enough.  Not quite 8 out of 10 cats but a lot of the women I spoke to quoted the example of being in the shower and he HAS to come in for a wee!!!  AGGGH… and it’s worse if you are in the bath.. NOT ON AT ALL!  No compromise here… it’s just not on.

Religion – This is a biggie in some relationships.  In the past a religious ‘conflict’ in a relationship would generally have meant a ‘mixed marriage’, ie Catholic and Church of Ireland.  But nowadays more and more there are couples where one partner is staunchly a heathen married to someone who is a a la Carte Catholic but would not be comfortable with NOT having the kids baptised.  Of course this situation is ripe for family interference.  You know the scenario “what do you mean  you are  not having the baby baptised?” says Granny trying to contain her shock. – making compromise very tricky.  A difficult one to compromise on.

Parenting – many of us don’t discuss our views on children and how they should be reared till we have them.  We generally know before getting married how our partner feels about having children.  But we rarely discuss our views on parenting itself – discipline, education even childcare until we have kids.  So – you crazy kids – sort this out before ‘putting a ring on it.’

Illness – on a serious note, if one partner develops a serious illness/disability, the level of compromise and compassion and consideration makes all the above so unimportant!!

There are of course some things YOU SHOULD NEVER COMPROMISE ON.  Again in no particular order, they are…

  • Your identity….. never forget who you are.  KEEP YOUR NAME MS!!!
  • Family/Friends – no partner should make you give up on family and/or good friends.  Your partner may be your best friend but you also need your friends and especially your independent friends as opposed to your shared friends.
  • Morals – having a pain room in your house is NOT NORMAL. That bloody 50 Shades book is NOT NORMAL.
  • Self Esteem

All men should learn quickly that THEIR WIFE IS NEVER WRONG.

So – there you are – the secrets to a happy relationship.  You are very welcome!!!

You can listen back to my piece on Tubridy on 2FM this morning here.