Feeling Helpless to Improve Things in Your Relationship?
When it comes down to it, what you really want is to feel good in your relationship and the rest of your life, right? We all want that. You want to feel affirmed, loved, and lovable in your relationship. You want to feel valued and special, at ease, safe and secure, and supported.
The good news is, you have got a lot more power over this than you may think (listen to my mini podcast episode about this from the last blog post here)-- and I want to you to understand that in a big way (because it makes all the difference!)
Yet most of us innocently go about trying to feel good in our relationship the wrong way.
This is because we often believe that it is our significant other's job to make us feel all those great feelings. So, in order to keep him doing his job of making us feel affirmed and at ease, we may unconsciously resort to faulty tactics.
Which backfires and create the opposite of what we actually want (like tension, distance and feeling unloved).
Although you may not be aware that you are doing them, most of us use a form of these tactics with our partner, such as demanding, complaining, micromanaging, blaming, sharing our criticisms and judgments of him, and generally finding fault with him when he doesn't do the things that we "need" to feel good.
For example, one of my clients, "Sara", was upset that her man didn't dress how she wished he would (because, she reasoned, if he dresses poorly it will reflect badly on her -- others would think less of her). So she would suggest he change his shirt when they went out together. Or implied that the stained sweatpants were not acceptable when he was about to head out on some errands.
When he didn't change his pants like she wanted, she felt like he didn't care about her happiness. She was mad and hurt, and was sure it was his fault. She even questioned if the relationship could last.
Many of us do this: we decide it's his fault that we aren't happy in the relationship because he doesn't do the things we want.
Maybe you can relate? When your partner doesn't express his love or buy you gifts as often as you'd like...When he doesn't call at the time he said he would or comes home 15 minutes late...When he watches a movie instead of doing that project he was supposed to do on the house... you feel angry, disappointed, or sad.
So you try to get him to do all those things the way you want him to by blaming him, demanding him to do it differently, complaining to him, nagging or even withdrawing or yelling.
You do all of this because you want to avoid feeling bad and to, instead, feel love and ease. Which is only natural, but...
Can see how this is going about it all backwards?
I, too, have been guilty of this in my relationships in the past (and I still slip up occasionally, to be totally honest.) After all, it's what most of us were taught about being in relationship: our partner is supposed to make us happy.
But this puts all the power over your happiness in his hands. It gives your own emotional wellbeing over to him entirely. So that you have no influence over it at all.
Wouldn't you prefer to be the one to have the most influence over how you feel?
Complaining, demanding, criticizing and such are also the completely wrong approach to creating the conditions that inspire real love between you -- the kind where, of his own volition, he naturally treats you lovingly (that's what you really want!).
Because when you treat him that way he feels disrespected, and it drives him away or puts him on the defensive. He doesn't feel safe to let his guard down and be himself around you. He doesn't feel at ease enough or inspired to be kind and loving when you are treating him like that...
When you stop pinning your happiness on him behaving how you want him to, you naturally stop engaging in the control and blame tactics. Then everything changes.
You get to be back in charge of your happiness. And you create the conditions that naturally inspire love, so he responds by loving you more in the ways you want.
I've been seeing this regularly with my clients. Once the woman stops trying to get him to do" his job" of making her feel good, by criticizing, complaining and controlling, once she lets him be him and she shows up wth respect and care herself, she sees her man do a 180 in his affection and loving attitude.
For Sara, when she started to integrate the insights and teachings we worked on in my program Unleash Your love, she made incremental changes that radically altered the way her partner was responding to her. Over a couple months she decreased her micromanaging of how he was dressing and how he went about his household upkeep, as well as how he should treat her.
She was amazed at the changes in her husband and how much more connection and laughter they began experiencing again together. She told me, "I now realize that so much of it is up to me. If I want to see a difference I have to make a difference. It's been totally worth the effort!"
Tell me, do you notice yourself falling prey to any of the tactics I mentioned to try to feel love? Or have any questions about all this? Don't be shy, let's talk about it! Comment below. I'll respond!
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