Currently, in my practice…EVERY WOMAN I SEE, is discussing the struggle of emotionally accommodating their partner. These women range from the older generation to “badass feminist powerhouse” vibe, to women who are married to women and men down to teen girls.
It is all so confusing. “HOW ARE WE STILL HERE?” My twenty-five year old self asks. What I didn’t understand then and what I do understand now is…this is just where we are and progress takes as long as it takes. Women were not allowed to get their own credit card in 1977. 1977!!! So, young lady…that is only 46 years years compared to ____ amount of years women have been habitually, with mind and body. accommodating everyone. Actually, I think we are still only in the beginning of the pendulum swing. For a loooooong time, I felt a tremendous amount of shame for not personally being “further along.” I was a world traveler, educated… “I know better!” Well well, young grasshopper…knowing something in your intellect is not enough. These tendencies to accommodate run deep and that is an understatement.
What got us here is way too much to discuss…but in a nutshell…where we are from, how we were raised, where we are in the sibling line, education, what we saw mothers and grand-mothers do, what we see on TV, what is liked, what is praised MIXED with some natural(maybe) desire to nurture…oh my, its just so overwhelming. So rather than figure out how we got here, I am going open the discussion on how to stop.
First, if you are young and not yet in the mess many of us find ourselves in…RISK not giving away one of your greatest assets—your love and nurturing until after you have risked exposing your “SELF” in the relationship.
Me: Ok, to the rest of you. It’s time to expose the “self.”
You: But I don’t know myself and what if it’s self-ish?
Me: You do know the self. Basically, its what you want don’t want/likes/dislikes. And…this is the kind of self-ish that may keep you healthy and not eventually breaking down.
Here is the thing… so many “acts of kindness” people THINK they are engaging in…are actually actions from FEAR. And the taskmaster is often not your partner. It is you. A part of you that tells you how you must behave in relationships. That is why we must not engage in too much “spouse bashing.” It is important to separate who is sending you “your orders.” Yes, your partner will likely struggle with some comforts being taken away, especially if those actions felt like love to that person.
Caroline, are you saying I can’t be loving anymore?! No! Be loving when it is loving. Likely, if you are deep down the resentment trap of obeying your inner task master, you don’t feel very loving at all. This is a very normal feeling after abandoning yourself for so long.
It is a long scary road with NO ROAD MAP out of the resentment funk. Learn to tune in to you. Your needs. Your wants. Grab the reins and GO!