Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

What a great way to start the new year, Faith. We’ve had a really good kick start and I feel like we’re really moving. We are and I hope you all are too in whatever transitions you may be facing because we’re trying to look at transitions right in the eye and explore how to deal with those areas of life that leave us with a great deal of tension because that is what happens. Faith, we get tense. We get very tense. Transition brings up a lot of emotion, a lot of thoughts, a lot of fears, but a lot of hope and a lot of new anticipation for what is coming. And today we’re on Episode 55. Transition: The Impact of Living with Someone. So this is going to apply to us in all sorts of ways. Whether you’re part of a family or you’re getting married for the first time, you’re moving in with someone or you’re gaining a roommate. Living with someone other than yourself brings up all sorts of issues!

Faith

We were talking about this earlier. It’s not just if you’re just starting this, but if you’ve been in a relationship and are living with someone, transition happens continually. We forget that nothing stays the same. Things keep happening. Our bodies change. Our ideas change. Our jobs change so much happens in our lives and it does impact everyone that surrounds us, that we live with.

Lois                         

One of the things that you’ll notice as we talk about transitions through the next few weeks and months is that some transitions are ones that are completely unexpected, that are difficult, that are hard, that are sad and others are ones that we’d usually anticipate with a bit of joy and like, oh, this is going to be fun. This, I think is one of those for most of us, the impact of living with someone. And yet it brings up a lot for us face when we are residing in the same space with another person.

Faith                    

Yeah, there’s oxygen that’s being taken up. And especially if you’ve been on your own, you’ve done things a certain way and you like things a certain way and then someone else comes into that environment and suddenly things change. And it can be with a spouse, it can be with someone, a roommate – roommate changes. No two people are the same, so we’re going to see things differently, react to things differently and that does shake things up. It really does.

Lois                        

You know, some of us grew up sharing space with a lot of people and others are raised as only children and you know, usually those are the two kinds of people that get together. This isn’t always true but oftentimes that is what happens. And even if you haven’t thought about it for awhile, you know, years into a relationship, suddenly you’ll go, well, I never got to do this, or I always got to do this, and the other person had the reverse. There’s always some kind of rebirthing in a sense, when you come to a relationship of things that you grew up with that are being done differently now that you have to let go of or not hang onto them, if you will. Then see what happens.

Faith                     

And be ready for some arguments.

Lois                       

So we’re kind of excited to dive into this union of sorts and some being very positive and blissful, what you’re looking forward to. Others you’re working out and just, you know, because you need to have a roommate and your house and you need to make sure that you can afford where you’re living. So having another person in your living space is just a very huge milestone in any relationship that you might have. It’s very, very appealing and it could also become a nightmare. And so we would like to just kind of go through some different things that maybe you’ve already completely dealt with and worked through and maybe you haven’t and it might be time to take a step back because that’s the beauty of life, right? I mean we could have made big decisions. That doesn’t mean we can’t like take a pause and put a foot backwards and say, well, maybe we could explore some of these issues and from people that are far wiser than either Faith or myself. We’ve been exploring what it takes to have a great blended union of any sort. And this is not marital advice here by the way, or cohabitation, whatever. This is about, when you’re choosing to live under the same roof and share oxygen, what are some things that will help you get through this process?

Faith                     

I think first of all is you look at some of the things that are really positive. What are you gaining from having someone else with you? And there’s a relationship connection. Someone to support you to bounce things off of. If it’s a roommate, the financial support and help that’s there. Helping with the cleanup and various things that you set into an agreement so there are benefits or you wouldn’t be doing it if you wanted to remain on your own and just live on your own, you, you would do it, but there’s something missing in that and so it is what causes us to gravitate towards others, to be in that community, to be in relationship with them. That’s a key thing to focus on and to build on so that that can grow and mature and develop. The other piece that is really important is to face right up front that just because someone else is there you do not lose yourself, and that’s the thing that we fear the most. Oh my gosh, if I move into this, then I’m going to be lost. I no longer exist. Well, then there’s something very unhealthy about this relationship. You remain so does the other person. Now, how do you come together and be in relationship?

Lois                       

So let’s dive in. Episode 55. Transition: The Impact of Living with Someone. Maybe ask a question or are you doing it for the right reasons? Have you actually talked about what this is going to look like, and I mean, this may sound silly, but I know you’ve met people and maybe you’re one and maybe I’m one, that has made a decision to join forces whether as a roommate or moving in with somebody and you didn’t really talk through things like, like big things. Maybe you’re moving into somebody’s place because it would be easier, but you didn’t really like scope it all out. Like what is this going to look like? What is, um, what kind of conversation, what expectations do you have? Is there a commitment level that you’re looking for in this relationship? Or are you just saying, I just want to do it right now? Because financially it’s expedient. No, the other person thinks there’s a huge commitment level and you’re doing it for that. Have you sat down and actually talked about it? Faith, It’s surprising that many people don’t take this step.

Faith                   

Most people don’t take that step. They’re in love or they really have a need and they want to get this done and then having a roommate they think it’s going to work out, but they don’t have the conversation and it is so vital. It’s so important that we take the time to talk about, hey, what do you think about and how do you do this? How do you do your laundry? How do you. What part of the house do you like to clean the most to find out about that person and the details? Are you messy? Do you like immaculate, clean all the time and organize? We need to know, but those are things that we sometimes don’t step into with people because we think that might be trespassing or I shouldn’t go there. We need to go there.

Lois                       

You need to go there. You absolutely need to go there. And this idea of your level of commitment, it’s so important. If you want to see a relationship flourish and grow, you need to know that you’re in it for the long haul or not. One or the other. But it’s so disappointing when you have, when each person has a different idea of what that level of commitment looks like. The result of that relationship will never be long, right? We can promise you that, and that’s not even advice, that’s just, that’s just the truth. If you don’t share that level of commitment, so it’s a great thing to talk about before, so are you doing it for the reasons that are you both in it for the same kind of reasons. It’s kind of cool and it’s okay to talk about.

Faith                    

And with roommates, especially if you do not know them, or there’s someone that you’re not real familiar with. Do that on a temporary basis. Do It on a time frame of so many weeks or maybe three months Max to see how it works out. Perfect. Do a trial basis because it may not work out. That’s completely a different situation than someone that you’d been dating or know very well or they’re a longtime friend. That’s a different situation. That’s just some discernment that we need to put into moving in situations.

Lois                      

And that kind of goes right into dealing with the financial matters is a very good thing for you to talk about. Believe me beforehand, like whose name is on the rental agreement or the lease or whatever it is. However you’re moving in, sometimes we don’t think about this like what’s the term, so if I move out, who’s going to end up paying the next six months? Do you have an exit strategy? It sounds silly on one level, but it’s so critical because one person who’s the most more responsible will most likely end up holding the bag if the other person walks out, so especially in roommate situation, if you’re staying there for three months, there is a commitment of this kind of pay and then we’ll look at something from here on out, but Faith, it is surprising to me that that conversation doesn’t happen more often so that people are aware of what could happen if it doesn’t work out well.

Faith                   

People feel awkward and they feel like it’s intrusive. I shouldn’t be intruding in on your life. Well, this person’s going to be intruding in on your so you might want to know and have more information as to how is this going to work with each other. It is not intrusive in the need to know and the need to have good information helps both sides.

Lois                      

You spoke early on about this is about a relationship, even if it’s a roommate relationship, whatever you have, it’s still a relationship and this art of communicating and answering questions and sitting down, that’s part of relationship which is really beautiful, so I find that if I can look at it that this is part of increasing my relationship with this other person versus I’m intruding by saying who’s going to pay the rent or when is this going to happen. It might be a little easier conversation.

Faith                   

Get things in writing with roommate. There’s so many ways that you can get help with that. Even online there’s different contracts, but have a conversation, get it in writing and then both agree to it and then there’s something you can go back on and say, you know, this was our agreement and let’s stay with it. Yeah, it helps just to keep it centered and keep it moving.

Lois                        

It really does like who pays the utilities? Who Pays for the Internet? I mean just get that kind of down. It really makes it easier and then you referred to something else that’s so, so brilliant. Like what kind of ground rules do you need so that you can feel free in your house. Like are you a messy person? Are you a neat freak? Those are things to know about. Doesn’t mean the other person has to be the same. Right? But we need to know who we are to share that with somebody else so they know who we are and we know who they are.

Faith                    

Yes, differences are fine. It’s not a right or wrong, and that’s where we get into trouble is that sometimes we’ve moved in with somebody, we’ve married somebody and they do things differently and so then it becomes an argument of you’re doing it wrong. No it’s not wrong. It’s different and differences are part of the game plan of life and it’s not up to us to change everybody and so many couples or partners will get together and say, when we get married, I’m going to change this or I’m going to change that. And it’s like, no, you’re not. It doesn’t work. It’s not like that. And that’s where arguments come in and what is so key is to acknowledge the uniqueness and the beauty of the differences that you have with each other and how you do things. But then say, how are we going to do this because we are different. Yeah. And that’s the good conversation to have and that’s how you grow together.

Lois                      

You know, it sounds so silly, but I love music and I love playing it. I love listening to it. But if I have people around me, it has to be brought down to a really low level because I have a difficulty physically hearing the music and hearing someone talk. My husband loves music as well, but volume means nothing to him. He can have it at a very much higher register, keep a conversation going, be fully engaged in a conversation with that loud music. So we had to learn early on what worked for us. So the funniest part is if I ever go away for a day or two and come back, you’ll walk in the house, the music will be as loud as possible because he has been able to get back to the loud music when I’m not around and it is and the boys, everybody who comes around, we’ll actually make fun of the fact that, ” Oh now Art can have his music.” So we have had to work on things and how they established for both of us. Yeah. At first it was like I thought somebody wasn’t paying attention to me because they had loud music and instead it was like that’s actually how he functions and I watch him in his office and it’s just normal for him. So I had to learn that that was his normal. My normal was, I don’t do that. So we’ve found a way to compromise. But when we’re in our own spaces we can do it however we like to do. It wasn’t a right or wrong, it was what was right for each of us. But if we didn’t address it and talk about it, we would take okay. I would take umbrage thinking I wasn’t being heard.

Faith                    

Yes, and you handled that beautifully, but those are the small details that can become irritants if you don’t look at them and if you do not face them head on, they will get in there and they become like sandpaper and we oftentimes will go, oh, it’s not that important. I won’t talk about it yet. I need to talk about it. The small things as well as the big things. Housework. Oh yes. Big One. Big One. Who Do you know how I solve that? I saw that really, really well by saying, what are the things you really liked to do? I did that with my kids and I did it also with my husband met and we talked about it and they all stated things that they really, really liked to do and I got. Those are the things you should do. Then instead of doing the things. I hate doing this. I hate this. My husband doesn’t like to do laundry. I love to do. laundry. Pretty lucky actually and it works. And I love to load the dishwasher, but I don’t like to unload it, so guess what? He says, I like unloading it so he, I load it, he unloads it, and so those are the kinds of things that we found. What can we be on that teeter totter of life in the house? And it works and then sometimes, yeah, we do some things that we don’t necessarily enjoy, but sure, big deal, but they’re minimal because we have split it up in such a way that we’re doing things that are not work so to speak.

Lois                      

So these are ground rules that you can actually do, you know, out having a drink or sitting down for coffee, you can do it in a place that doesn’t make it hostile or competitive, but you just lay it out there because once it’s out there, then there’s no argument about it.

Faith                 

And we’ve gotten away from you should or you haven’t and you shouldn’t be doing that. And so anything like that, we’ve now moved out of the relationship into a parent role and we’re scolding and no one responds to that well. Nobody responds to that. So what we want to do is stay in the relationship. How can I relate to you? How can we work this out? How can we compromise what will work for both of us?

Lois                       

That is beautiful, so think about that as you decide to cohabitate, get married, have a roommate. How is it going to work that you can set out the ground rules and feel both of you or all three of you, however many are in the household, feel good about what you’re doing. So this is episode 55 and transition the impact of living with someone. Sometimes we have to blend our tastes faith and it just, it just comes with the territory that isn’t exactly the way you or someone else wanted it to be for their whole lives and they’re realizing they have to add things in that are different in terms of a piece of artwork or the size of the television. I mean you name it. Or the carpet that you brought with you that you find so special from your grandmother. That has to be someplace. These are things that are, I think we can both get what we want. It is both and so make sure that you’re each contributing enough that there is a blending of tastes and acknowledge that this is no longer just your thumbprint on everything right.

Faith                

Or your tastes will change over time. So if you’ve been with someone for a very long time, tastes begin to change and someone may say no, this how it’s always been, I don’t want to change it, so then you have to find that compromise of something else’s stirring within the other person that needs change and one person would like to keep it the way it has been. So we’re always dealing with our tastes in how they’re evolving and we need to understand what is going on inside the person. Why does the one person want to keep it the one way? Why does one person wants some change? So there’s that opportunity for relationship. We can have a conversation. So why do you want change? Why do you want it to stay the same? Why don’t you like this color? I love this color and that was one of the big things that my husband and I had to deal with is our palette color tastes were so different, but he finally came around to my way. And he does think I have good colors, tastes.

Lois                        

And you know what? I have to actually jump on the bandwagon here because I was one of these people who had a myriad of colors everywhere in my house for years, for decades. Anyone who’s known me and so I come in and my husband is a fan of blues and I had a few blues, but that wasn’t the color that I would choose. Well, if you come into our home now, it’s all gray and blue. Imagine that. What happened was, to your point earlier on, when I asked what do you like, and he mentioned that and I grimaced I thought, well, what would happen if I just tried that? I tried it and I liked it and so then I kept adding a little more, a little more, a little, and now he feels so comfortable where I know that I have put my color palette on a stamp, but it was because I moved within the range that I knew he liked. So folks, there are ways and we’re both getting what we want. I have always had a difficulty with compromise because then I think it’s like 50 – 50. I think each of us should get 100 percent. We should all be able to express exactly what we want and if we do it in a spirit of caring for each other, there is a really good chance that we’re all going to get what we want.

Faith                  

You absolutely can. That’s not losing yourself again. We always think we’re going to lose us. You don’t lose you. You become more. As long as you’re engaging the other person in wanting them to become more. And then you have 100 percent both sides.

Lois                       

So this transition can be absolutely beautiful if you share that and then we all need to create our own space. So having said that, we’re blending certain things that does not mean we are always going to be sitting next to each other and when the computer’s open or a book’s open, we can interrupt all the time. We have to acknowledge that we all need our own private space. Even if we don’t have a physical space. You may have a really small apartment so you can’t totally get away. So if you’re sitting in a chair with something, you need to make a ground rule and acceptance that sometimes we need our own space, right?

Faith                

You have to find your own corner somewhere. That is your chair, your blanket, your nightstand, whatever. You have to have that because that’s where you’re going to go to reflect, to take a deep breath. It’s your time out spot and you need that. And whether it’s the study and it could be at the computer, but my husband and I have to share computer space and we’ve had to learn how to do that. We wish we had our own office each but we don’t have the space for that, so we’ve compromised and we have our space within the space.

Lois                     

And so that’s another way of relating, of communicating so that we all get what we want and we don’t step on the other because maintaining our lives is super important when we come in. You mentioned that from the very beginning. When you blend, maybe you know you fall in love and you’ve got to have this together. You’re afraid you’re going to lose yourself while maintaining our own lives is critical. Faith and I what we’re doing is completely separate from what we have, relationally in our home space and yet it brings us so much joy that when we return to our family members, we are energized and we can bring more into the relationship. So make sure what you’re doing allows you to flourish and grow and thrive and come back to that person energized instead of depleted or angry that you feel that that person is not allowing you to do what you really want to do.

Faith                    

Depletion means something isn’t working and you want to follow the trail on that and see if you can find out what it is and see if you can resolve it, and if it’s really serious and it’s not something that can be resolved, then it may be time to move on.

Lois                       

Wow, so you remember that. Maintain your life. And then and then find things you want to share together. I mean the reason you’re coming together from the very beginning is because you found somebody that you have something in common with that you want to share a life with, that you want to be a roommate with. Whatever it is you’re choosing, how you’re coming under the same roof. You’re choosing somebody for a reason, so what is it you can do together? Not Everything, but what is it that you can enjoy together? Because if you find that everything you do is isolated and independent, then you stay roommates, right? Which might be okay, but if you are, you are roommates, they roommate,

Faith                   

But if that’s a deeper relationship, no, you’ve got to find those things that bond you together and so go back to the things that what drew you to this person to begin with and what were you doing with them before you ever moved into a more of a committed relationship. You want to enhance those things. You want to continue to do those things and as time changes and maybe that person can’t do them the way they used to, then you have to find new things to do together. That’s part of the transition as well.

Lois                        

And that’s what this whole podcast is about. The impact of living with somebody is a transition. Whether it’s brand new or it’s something that has been seasoning for years and decades and never forget that things do change pretty much on a regular basis. They do, so enjoy it because the impact of a transition of living with somebody will change your life and we absolutely hope it’s for the better.

Faith                 

We are so glad you’re finding our podcasts and if you would be willing to share today’s episode with someone who might benefit, that would be awesome.

Lois                       

Every week we send out our newsletter and if you want to stay in the loop, please go to our website and sign up and join us next week for Transition: The Impact of Injury or Illness.

Faith                   

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Lois                      

More Live with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.