12 Proven Strategies For Dealing With Double Standards in Relationships.
It may sometimes seem as if there are distinct rules for you and your spouse.
I encounter a lot of married couples and intimate relationships that struggle because rules are enforced unfairly in my work as a marriage and family therapist. I provide partners the opportunity to communicate more effectively when I can assist them to identify such trends.
The main difficulty I see in these circumstances? Relationships that unknowingly include double standards.
Double Standards, but what Are they?
Any regulation in the relationship that applies to one partner differently than the other is referred to as a double standard. Anyone is capable of using two standards. Partners in a happy relationship talk about their goals and work for equality.
Even though it might be challenging, emotionally manipulative partners will avoid bringing up double standards. Even worse, they could create rules that purposefully favor one spouse over the other.
How Can I Address My Partner’s Double Standards?
Couples that struggle with dispute resolution may not always treat one another according to how they would want to be treated. When feeling cornered, one partner may employ double standards to criticize the other’s usage of them.
Sometimes, using different criteria leads to targeted assaults. When a couple is at odds, they may make fun of each other’s anxieties, even if they are aware of how painful it is to be on the other side.
Go on a break.
When we don’t feel like we’re being understood, it may be frustrating, and sometimes individuals will create arguments over things that have nothing to do with the issue. Arguments may get more heated to the point that voices are raised, muscles tighten, and heart rates rise. Sometimes it seems impossible to hear or be heard without taking extraordinary measures.
If you are feeling that way, it could be best to take a break and come back to the situation later.
Decide on a time to discuss it.
Pick a time when you will consciously get together and talk about your emotions. Think about keeping hands throughout the conversation. It has been shown that this kind of interaction may lower heart rate and boost emotions of connectedness.
12 Proven Strategies For Dealing With Double Standards in Relationships
Start by stating briefly how and why you feel. Use I-statements to take ownership of your ideas, emotions, and actions. To not blame. Asking questions demonstrates your concern for your partner’s comprehension.
Relieving damaged emotions and demonstrating empathy might lessen the desire to set up a barrier. Both of you will be more receptive to addressing your requirements and implementing adjustments at that time.
- Juggling domestic duties
One individual seldom handles all the household duties in the majority of partnerships. However, one individual can choose to focus their efforts on the easier activities and neglect the harder ones.
Cooperate: Assign assignments not just based on their complexity but also on how long they will take to complete.
For instance, it takes one person roughly 45 minutes to clean the living room, empty and reload the dishwasher, and take out the garbage. The second person spends roughly an hour preparing supper and updating the group schedule.
- Talking about attractiveness.
I often see a double standard when one spouse is permitted to compliment the other’s attractiveness while the other spouse is penalized for doing the same.
Work together: Set mutual health objectives and give each other compliments at least once every day. We are more motivated to achieve our health objectives, such as fitting more exercise into our schedules, when we feel good about ourselves.
“You’re very appealing when you’re proud of what you accomplish,” for instance. Would you want to take a stroll while we talk about your day?
- Giving family time first priority.
It’s simple for couples to focus more on the outside world than their relationship. It might be simple to request more time together without really making it happen because of job, school, family, friends, and interests.
Work As a Team: According to the 2+2+2 rule, couples should schedule dates every two weeks, spend a special weekend together every two months, and plan a weeklong vacation every two years.
For instance, book a hotel room in the next city every two months, visit a place at least two hours away from home every two years, and try a different restaurant every other week.
- Expressing love.
Everybody expresses love in their own unique manner. Often, one spouse expresses their desire for love in a certain manner, but may not spend as much time showing their other the same affection.
Cooperate: Develop your ability to show and accept love. Discuss the things that give you a sense of love. What kind of touch do you prefer? How do you want them to express their concern for you? Only if you specify how you want to be treated will your spouse act toward you.
For instance, “I feel cherished when you stop by with a smoothie on the way home. It demonstrates to me that you are considering me even when I’m not around.
- Being focused.
It might be simple to place the blame for someone’s lack of attention or distraction on them. But when it’s time to listen, it may be just as simple to divert our attention.
Is trying to convince him to spend time with you like pulling teeth?
Understanding males on a much deeper emotional level is the key to finding a solution. With a few subtle comments you might make to him, you can truly modify the main reason why men react in this manner.
Check out this little test to check whether he really likes you!
Cooperate: Arrange a fixed time to discuss significant concerns. Distract yourself at this time by putting your phone away (consider activating Do Not Disturb mode). Make sure you both understand one another by practicing active listening.
Ex: Talk about something that’s been on your mind for 20 minutes every evening. It might be a relationship issue you observed, an unusual event from your day, or a quality you value in your spouse.
- Responding to inquiries “on time.”
We might get into the trap of delaying requests from our partners because we have our own priorities even when we sometimes want things done on our own schedule.
Work Together: Explain to each other when tasks must be completed and why if requests have a deadline. Even though we know when something is due, it might be simple to put it off if we don’t grasp why it’s necessary. You may better comprehend each other’s priorities by discussing why.
Example: “Would you mind doing the dishes while I’m away? In order to make supper tonight, the sink has to be cleaned.
- Contact with people of the opposing sex.
Relationship jealousy is often out of proportion. When it comes to flirting, spending time alone, and becoming friends with people of a different gender (or the same gender, in the case of same-sex couples), one spouse may believe that it is inappropriate for their other to do the same.
Work together to examine improper conduct and discuss the reasons behind it. (Remember to practice listening and utilize I-statements!) Together, come up with a strategy for handling such scenarios. Look into how you might comfort one another.
Choose a particular action that makes you uncomfortable as an example. Find a different approach to engage with certain people by working with your partner on this.
Consider seeking out solo or couple therapy if you or your partner feels really angry or anxious about infidelity. For numerous reasons, getting expert assistance is always the preferred course of action. Additionally, you may be connected with a specialist who specializes in the particular problem that’s bugging you via sites like Relationship Hero and get assistance. To get started, complete this quick 2-minute quiz.
- Socializing with buddies.
It may be challenging to balance time with friends in many partnerships. It may seem alluring to cancel plans with a partner in order to spend time with a friend who needs us, but if we feel we’re second in line or if date night often turns into time with each other’s pals, sentiments may become wounded fast.
Work Together: Friendships are just as essential to partnerships as romantic ones. To control how you split your time, think about utilizing a shared calendar. You two may make sure you have time for both each other and your pals by carefully planning your schedules.
Think considering establishing guidelines for last-minute scheduling. It may not be an issue if you agree to attend a performance on your date, but if you keep canceling plans with your partner every week, it can be problematic.
I saw that you’re going out with the boys on Friday night, for instance. Could we catch a movie together on Tuesday since we’re both free?
- Having family interactions.
Many individuals wish to include their spouse in significant events and family rituals, but sometimes they fail to strike a balance with their partner’s family time.
Work together to create your own connection rituals and ask both sides of the extended family to join you. To achieve balance when it comes to visits, make concessions to one another on special events.
Choose a lesser-known culinary holiday to celebrate with your family, such as National Burger Day, and invite them over.
- Being open and honest with yourself.
It might be challenging to express your feelings, particularly if you’re feeling helpless or upset. We often claim to be okay when we are not. Seeing your spouse unhappy while receiving the same answer may be upsetting at the same time.
Together: Set aside some time each day to list one negative and one positive emotion you experienced that day. Make sure you are listening to your spouse as much as you want to be heard when you start to speak about your emotions.
Example: “A project I was working on altered at the last minute, which made me really irritated at work today. But when I got home and saw it was movie night, I also felt incredibly thrilled.
- Looking after children.
Parents are aware that children should come first. Even brand-new parents experience stress. According to research by the Gottman Institute, 67% of new parents have less relationship satisfaction following the birth of their child. Conflict may arise if there is a double standard about who should watch the kids and when.
Together: Every parent has fatigue. Try to come up with a basic routine for everyone to get some rest so that we can help one another. Try to strike a balance between time and energy, just like with housework. When something unexpected occurs, having a timetable will allow you to make modifications in a fair manner.
Example: While the second parent assists with schoolwork, the first parent feeds the children. They may rotate who makes the kids’ lunches for school the next day and who helps them get ready for bed after a bath.
- Being reasonable while arguing.
There are constructive methods to disagree, but there is sometimes a double standard when it comes to abiding by the rules. Couples often say things to one other that they would never want to hear from a friend or family member.
Work as a Team: When you’re unhappy, remind yourself that you and your spouse are a team because of your relationship. Avoid assigning blame and be prepared to accept responsibility for your errors since the two of you are handling the issue together. Set a time to talk after you’ve calmed down if you’re truly irritated.
I’m incredibly upset, and I’m aware that I’m inclined to say something hurtful since my emotions have been injured. I believe it would be beneficial to unwind by taking a shower. Can we discuss this for an hour?
- Physical closeness.
Our desire for physical connection with our relationships on our terms is common. However, we might indicate to our spouse that we don’t want or have time for physical touch when we’re busy, irritable, or preoccupied.
Work Together: Intimacy may take many other forms than sex. At the start of the day, spend at least 15 seconds making physical contact. It may even be holding hands or giving a hug or kiss.
As an example, set your alarm a few minutes earlier and have a hearty morning snuggle before you begin your day.
- Starting a sexual relationship.
The practice of one partner initiating sex while the other refrains is one of the most prevalent double standards in partnerships. One person may feel undesired or rejected if they take the lead all the time.
Work Together: Start by chatting about the things you both like doing. There are various ways to make the initial move. Decide together how often you want to have sex, and come to an agreement to begin your relationship within that time period.
I truly like it when you send me a sexy text when you’re in the mood. Could we do it a few times a week to see how things develop?
- Taking care of money.
It’s simple to criticize someone else’s spending practices without having the same standards for oneself.
Avoid having one couple handle all financial choices by working together. Create a joint budget that includes categories for personal expenses, shared leisure, and bills.
Example: Each partner should set away $200 each month. Spend this money without thinking twice.
- Expectations about communication.
People can get irritated with their partners when they don’t answer the phone or pick it up right away. If your spouse has the same expectations as you, it could seem as if they are attempting to dominate you.
Work together to clarify to one another why communication is important. So that the requirements of both parties may be addressed, pay attention and be prepared to compromise.
To let me know to start supper, I would prefer if you phoned me when you were on your way home, but if you’re busy, a text would do.
- Talking about delicate subjects.
We anticipate openness and honesty from our partners in a relationship. However, when it comes to a subject close to our hearts, it’s simple to use double standards.
Work Together: Choose a phrase or other way to indicate that there is a sensitive topic to be discussed.
For instance, write a sticky note that reads, “I want to chat, but I’m frightened,” on the bathroom mirror. I adore you.
18 Respecting personal space
When talking about money, sex, or our physical or mental health, many individuals experience anxiety. They could believe it is improper to discuss it with others, but they are okay discussing a partner’s delicate matter with a person they can trust.
Work together to choose your support system and who you should avoid discussing certain subjects with. Recognize that there are moments when we need a listener who is not a part of our relationship.
Example: “I know you spill everything to your closest buddy, but I need this to remain between us.” Since therapy sessions are private, you are free to discuss more personal topics if you feel you need a professional’s help.
- Making alone time a priority.
If one spouse accepts that everyone deserves personal space but at the same time refusing to leave their significant other alone, it may be difficult for the relationship.
Work Together: Each partner may allot at least one hour each week (either in one sitting or in segments) for me-time. Respect their personal time as much as you respect your own.
Take a lengthy shower by yourself three times a week, for instance.
- Handling children from a prior marriage.
While being guarded and defensive about your own co-parenting experiences, it might be simple to criticize your partner’s.
Work Together: Establish clear rules for your shared space and plan ahead for dispute resolution.
Example: “I realize your kids and mine have different schedules, but when they come here, let’s make sure we’re all having supper together.”
Sharing hobbies and interests.
You may wish to share your favorite hobby with your significant other. However, you can also yourself coming up with justifications for not partaking in their interests.
Pick an activity that interests both of you to do together as a team.
Take rock climbing as an example.
- Juggling one’s profession.
When it comes to professions, one person’s development might sometimes take center stage.
Create a 5-year strategy for each of your jobs and determine the areas where you will each require extra assistance by working together.
Example: “I’ll take over supper responsibility for this month since I know you’re working hard for that promotion. Can you pick up the kids from soccer next month? The season is quite hectic for my company.
Being constantly told no by one spouse while the other feels unable to refuse might leave one partner feeling worn out, depressed, and irritated.
Work Together: Remind one another that refusing something is not a form of rejection but rather a technique to establish, maintain, and respect limits.
Give your spouse a warning if they continue a specific habit, such as ordering meals when there are leftovers in the fridge. Learn to say no when the opportunity arises.
What are some instances of unfair treatment?
Any circumstance in which we hold one individual or group of people to a different standard than another is known as a double standard. When couples act in a relationship in a way they would be angry with their partner for, this comes into play.
Who has double standards, and why?
Double standards may be used by anybody! We may revert to poor behaviors when we try to influence a result (yes, even when we’re not aware of it!). Manipulative partners may demand that the rules be enforced unjustly. Healthy relationships deal with problems head-on to prevent unfair treatment.
How can you know if someone is using two different standards?
If you are inclined to say or do anything that you wouldn’t want your spouse to say or do, stop the dispute. Spend some time identifying the true source of your agitation before bringing it up quietly and utilizing I-statements with your spouse.
What is the connection rule of 2-2-2?
With a date night every two weeks, a weekend getaway every two months, and a weeklong vacation every two years, this guideline encourages couples to put their love first. Everyone is putting the connection first in this manner.
How can double standards be resolved in a relationship?
Discuss your requirements with your spouse, and encourage them to do the same. Set clear expectations for each other in your rules, and be prepared to make concessions to maintain equilibrium.
As a result,
In a partnership, double standards might appear at any moment. We must be willing to commit to understanding and modifying our own behaviors as well as those of our partner in order to address them in an effective manner. You and your spouse may have equal expectations of one another by taking proactive measures.
Describe how you utilized the exercises in this post if you found them useful in the comments.