Do you ever get wrapped up in what your partner is doing wrong, or what he isn't doing right? Does it get under your skin and upset you? I see this a lot in the work I do with clients. Women who are independent, smart, loving people-- who are wise and mature in so many ways are still letting their partner drive them nuts with disappointment and frustration.
They are not alone. I've certainly had this experience myself many times, and though it used to be way more frequent, it comes up sometimes even still.The problem here is that we are letting our partner’s actions become the source of our pain or joy. Which is basically handing him a whole lot of power over our experience.
It's kind of like saying, “Here, honey, you hold the key to my joy and happiness, and you hold the key to my devastation and pain. I have nothing to do with it. You are in charge of me.” Obviously, it's not an empowered position to be in.
So then, in an attempt to have some say over how we feel, we may try to control his actions.
For instance, we may tell our partner he should be more understanding, act less selfish, be more attentive, stop neglecting the chores, start using a different tone of voice, etc. But this often triggers our partner’s defenses more, leading to reactionary interactions, and ultimately disconnection and hurt for both of you.
Of course, it's not a conscious choice we're making to hand over our emotional well-being to another person, but that's what's happening.
You'll know this is going on for you if you find yourself aggravated, annoyed, frustrated, angry, upset, or hurt by things your partner does really frequently. If that's happening for you, really take a look at this.
Here's what I suggest you do:
1) Ask yourself how often you are focused on him and what he's doing and what he's not doing the way you want. The key is to be really honest and kind with yourself (always)!
2) If the answer to that question is “very often” then do a 180. Turn your focus away from him. Byron Katie says there are three types of business: there's “my business”, the “other person's business”, and “God's business or the universe’s business”.
When you are focused on the other person's business, who's over here in your business? When you’re out there living your partner's life who is here living your life? Who's here focusing on you? Nobody.
When we're really unhappy with what they're doing and focused on what's wrong with them, it's because we're in their business, or somewhere where we shouldn't be. And we’ve forgotten ourself. We've abandoned ourself.
Your feelings are in your hands. Not his. For any relationship to really thrive, it depends on both parties partners staying primarily in their own business. Staying out of the other person's business. (Note: Byron Katie says there's no “our business”. I would like to say in my experience there's a few minor exceptions, but those should always come only with conscious agreements).
I know this is a tough one to swallow. Hard to wrap the mind around. I suggest you explore this concept with curiosity, and not resistance...It’s a relationship game changer when embraced!
3) Sweet friend, focus on what brings you happiness.
Of course there's a lot more to creating a more supportive loving relationship, but this is a key element. You must find happiness outside of him.
One of my teachers calls it “being the goddess of love and light.” Meaning, don't forget to do the things you love. Don't abandon yourself, or your passions. All too often I see women (especially after having children) abandoning the things they love outside of the family. If you forgot your passions, or can’t remember what lights you up, rekindle those passions or find new things you love to do.
Not only will you start to feel happier, in general, but the magic of this approach is that you won't even have to point out what he’s doing wrong or what he isn't doing... Instead, most men will naturally start giving you more of the care and consideration you want because you are suddenly more magnetic to him. Your self- focus and pursuit of your happiness and dreams is like a flame to a moth, drawing him in.
Plus, you're not in his business, which, whether he understands this concept or not, he does not like. Without you in his business he's able to relax, feel safer, more respected, and really appreciate this lovely passionate women who is his partner.
One of my clients recently shared her insight, “I need to do me and let him do him.” As she said that it was like this weight that was lifting from her. As if she was giving herself permission to finally stop worrying about her husbands life, and to pursue her own passions-- the things she loves that light her up. What relief, what freedom, for both of them. What a joy that realization was for her.
Maybe it will be for you too, when you can start to live it. Think of this as your permission slip to "do you, and let him do him."
How does that feel? What are you inspired to act on? Let us know in the comments below!