Do you create lists – and if so what’s on them?

Most people create lists

In a relationship the type of lists you create can have a good or bad effect on your partner.

So what type of lists do you create  (either written down or in your mind) – you can have as many as you like.

There are the many types of Lists.  For instance

  • To Do Lists
  • DIY Lists
  • Chores Lists
  • Failings Lists
  • Success Lists
  • Resentment Lists
  • Love Lists

The Lists that should just belong to you

As long as the Chores / To Do Lists you created on your own are yours and yours alone all is well.  If you have a DIY List whose is it – DIY means Do It Yourself!  So if you have a DIY list for your partner then it isn’t strictly DIY.

The Lists that can apply to your joint enterprise

You can, of course, have Chores and To Do Lists which are yours jointly as a couple.  It is important to make sure you both take a pro active joint decision on what goes on these lists.  If you are not pro active then your partner may resort to creating you a list – through frustration or a demand that you ‘step up’.


You are in this relationship for what you can give – not for what you can get

Now I am going to move on to those lists that you may be creating in your mind.  Your store of negative feelings – created by your partner’s behaviours and, crucially, yours.

The Resentment List:


  • treats this place as a hotel
  • never tidies up
  • is always tidying up and hiding my stuff (probably on purpose)
  • hurt me weeks/months/years ago and I’m going to hold it against them from now on

The Failings List:

Similar to the Resentment List – these two are closely linked.

  • He’s hopeless at DIY
  • He/she doesn’t do any of the chores
  • He/she doesn’t load the dishwasher in the ‘right’ way
  • …… on and so on!!

Change your focus

If you hang on to your Resentment and Failings Lists then it’s a bit like putting your feet in setting concrete – you end up stuck.  Stuck hanging on to the past.  Your focus is on the past and also, crucially, you can be on red alert for the next opportunity to add to these lists.

Treat the past as a lesson and you can unstick yourself.

No one succeeds all the time.  Learn from each other and avoid blame.  Blame removes your responsibility.  You are both in this relationship together.  Take responsibility for your own actions and focus.

When you each take responsibility for the past and decide to learn from it then you have the opportunity together to help your relationship do better today and in the future and learn how to grow from your mistakes.

Where are you now?

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is “What do I need from my relationship?”.  This is where you have to be absolutely honest with yourself.

Write down the answers as they flash into your mind.  It doesn’t matter what comes up – just scribble them down.  When you’ve asked yourself enough times then look at what you’ve put down.

Now look at your answers and think about your partner and how they would feel if you gave them the list.  How would they react?

Would they feel:

  • Valued
  • Important
  • Loved
  • Special
  • Appreciated

So often when a marriage or relationship is in crisis the lists can be filled with demands.

Have you created lists that sound like a job description for an employee rather than the partner you have!

Making demands on someone to be the way you want them to be rarely works. Why?  Because

(1) they’re not you,
(2) they’re not an employee

Look at your list and if it has elements like this then think about how you can turn this list into a

Love ListLoveList

The Love List will help them feel loved!   It will help them feel valued and special.

The Love List MUST NOT have any demands or requests on it which involve ‘chores’ or demands to change.  If it does then your list is NOT a Love List.

If you find yourself doing this then go back to the start and do it again, and again, until you come up with a list which is purely and honestly based on how you feel or want to feel about that special person in your life when you’re with them.

It must be specific. eg “I love the way you hug me”,  “I love your smile”,  “I love your giggle”………,
It can also have requests which will bring you closer together:

“I want to have more fun with you “,  “I need to laugh more”, “Let’s have more date nights”………

Relationship Crisis

If your Relationship is currently in crisis then the chances are you are finding the Love List difficult to create.  My suggestion is you get help now.  Your window of opportunity may be smaller than you realise.  Don’t leave it until it has closed.