His Feelings Are Not Your Fault
Walking on eggshells around your man? Feel like you need to be very careful of what you say and how you act? Feel the weight of always trying to avoid upsetting him?
Let me offer you some relief.
HIS feelings are not YOUR fault. You're wrong if you think they are. (Whew…this is good news!).
You can’t create his feelings. That’s magical thinking. PAINFUL magical thinking. Debilitating magical thinking. Thinking that imprisons you, making you constrain yourself and inhibit who you are.
It ultimately leads to resenting your partner because you no longer feel free to be yourself.
My clients, when they first come to me, often say they believe their husband feels grumpy and stressed and upset because of THEM. Even when it’s CLEARLY because he's stressed about work, or has Covid, or didn’t sleep well, or makes choices that don’t support his well being.
And when my clients think this way, they feel BAD. So bad about themselves. Hurt. Irritated. Lonely. Like something is wrong with them.
They then walk on eggshells. Worry about saying the wrong thing, overthinking about how to be. They fear upsetting their partner. They may even end up berating themselves when they can’t keep him from being upset.
In other words, they stress themselves out. And lose access to feeling safe to be their natural self, and at ease with their man (and in their own skin, in their own home). Not fun.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
If this is you, too, I'm here to lovingly say STOP IT. Stop blaming yourself for how your partner feels, or for how he acts. Stop taking responsibility for what is NOT your responsibility.
(My clients learn how to do this, and to let go of this painful way of organizing themselves around their partner's feelings. And so they gain their happiness, ease, and peace back — and even lightness and joy in their marriage again.)
Do you know where his feelings really come from? HIS thoughts. HIS pre-patterned nervous system programming. HIS way of interpreting your words and actions. HIS way of relating to the world outside of him.
And it is true that you can contribute to his happiness.
But you are not responsible for it. You are not responsible for him.
You are only responsible for your feelings. (And that is plenty to be responsible for, right!?!) For feeling safe around him. For feeling acceptance of him, hard feelings and all. For feeling peaceful and able to be your natural self with him.
This starts with freeing yourself of the burden of managing his feelings.
So let him have his feelings. And put your attention into tending to your own.
(BTW, this doesn't mean you should excuse yourself from showing up with care and kindness, of course. If I know you at all, being a jerk isn't who you want to be anyway--and so it isn't taking care of your own feelings when you let yourself be.)
When you prioritize caring for your own emotions, you can then be honest, but kind. You can be truthful and peaceful at the same time. You can set boundaries and say no. You can not do what you really don't want to do.
You can no longer take on a burden that isn't yours to carry. So you can show up with lightness, with love, with compassion, with joy.
THAT is how you contribute to his happiness and open the doorway to more love and joy between you.