The Game of Entitlement


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In this episode of Do the Work, AZ and Carla discuss how entitlement in your relationship can lead to conflict; Spending your time trying to figure out what may be bothering your spouse, when all they need is space is a slippery slope. Give your partner that space to figure out what is triggering them, instead of mirroring their anger. When you step back, the real trigger will disappear and so will the target on your head.

Topic #1

That Escalated Quickly

  • Carla opens up by discussing her podcast earlier where she shared how as a Mom sometimes she breaks and carries the load. AZ got upset and was wanting everyone to know that he does show up, and her podcast made it sound like he doesn’t. She agrees that he does show up, but she was talking about how everyone doesn’t see the whole story of how they parent through their podcast.
  • AZ talked about Carla giving him attitude about how the trash wasn’t taken out, that he feels she has this feeling of entitlement that the trash is his job. She was upset because she walked in and the garbage was overflowing, and she grabbed the bag and then he jumped up and said he would get the trash. Her point was that she doesn’t need him to take the trash when he sees her doing it, but to take out the trash when he sees it’s full.
  • This discussion carried over into their kids needing a ride to school and Carla felt like they were going to be late. AZ was finishing up his workout and needed a few more minutes. Carla makes the statement that he has one role, to take the kids to school and AZ said he needs her to stay out of his role then. He feels she was mad for days with him because she feels he doesn’t do as much for the kids as she does. Carla tells him not even to compare their roles. Her day doesn’t end at 6 o’clock; Her day doesn’t stop until the kids go to bed.
  • AZ agrees that he didn’t marry Carla for her to be his cook and maid. Women get lost in the social agreement that comes along with that commitment of marriage. He understands that they do have different roles, he doesn’t have that motherly instinct. He appreciates Carla and all she does, but he thinks it’s wrong if she tries to minimize the role that he plays. The reality of their life is not all rainbows, and it gets hectic, but they appreciate each other.

“I didn’t marry Carla for her to be my cook and my maid. Women get lost in the social agreement that comes along with that commitment of marriage.”- AZ

Topic #2   

How Do You Take Your Coffee Again?

  • They do everything together and what drove this over the edge was AZ asking if Carla was coming to the first day of school. It was a tradition every year to take the kids on the first day, and they take a picture. They didn’t take a picture this year, because the events of the week stacked up and came to a boiling point which could have been avoided; You have a lower tolerance level with your spouse and what it takes to set you off. We are more patient with our friends than our spouses.  An example is that Carla admits that she can never get AZ’s coffee right, and he expects her in some ways to know how he takes it. We all need to be aware that our spouses aren’t always going to know what is going on with us. We shouldn’t feel an entitlement that they should know.
  • In general, they put the good moments out on Instagram and Facebook, but there is chaos in between those moments. Carla doesn’t need for AZ to take out the trash; it wasn’t about that, he had every right to tell her that he wasn’t going to do it. It was all about that they weren’t connecting the previous few days, and it created a tension where AZ pulled back. He consciously decided to give her space and let her work through her issues. Carla’s solution was to vent on her podcast, and it worked it all out.
  • Sometimes you aren’t in the same mindset as your partner; you need to realize when to give the other space. Let them deal with their shit, and not chase them down trying to make the other one happy and figure out what is wrong. Your role isn’t to make the other person happy if you decide to, you are destined to lose.

“Sometimes you aren’t in the same mindset as your partner, and you need to realize when to give the other space. Let them deal with their own shit and not chase them down trying to make them happy.” – Carla

Topic #3

Mirrored Anger

  • Women aren’t always so truthful with what is going on. They don’t admit to what is going one, and our men cannot come up to a woman and ask what they can do to save them. When you don’t know what the original trigger was to what your partner is angry about, you ignite it. You need to look back at what triggered your anger in the first point and not take it out on your spouse when it the issue comes to a head.
  • If you are struggling in this space, AZ used to take whatever anger Carla was giving him, and he would double it. Carla would never have been able to figure out what her original trigger was because now she is putting her attention one the anger that AZ is handing to her. He soon becomes her target, because he was mirroring her rage. When you give your spouse space to examine what is triggering them, and not mirror their anger, it will diffuse the situation and open it up for conversation; This is true for men and women.
  • AZ has had many triggers that happened during his day, and come home agitated. What we fail to understand is that you need to give the other person space, to understand themselves better. Stop trying to fix an issue when you don’t even know what the trigger was, to begin with; It isn’t easy to do, but it is effective.

“I used to take whatever anger Carla was giving me and double it. She could never figure out what her original trigger was because now she was focused on the anger I was mirroring with her. ”- AZ

Closing Thoughts

  • If you follow this advice, it can help your marriage. There is always something more profound and most days it isn’t about the small things like the trash. Don’t mirror the anger back if you do all you become is the villain in the situation; the real trigger disappears.
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