Is this you?…giving, giving, giving, wearing yourself out catering to your mate? Do you notice an expression of dismay on their face and rush over to find out what’s wrong so that you can fix them? Do you have the disease to please?
If so, ever wonder why? Well, it comes from an early life characterized by insecurity and rejection. For various reasons you felt unloved and unaccepted, and now you over-give hoping that if you just give enough, you will be loved back, and finally feel safe and secure.
Over-giving makes you angry and resentful because you’re so busy taking care of them that your needs have flown out the window. You don’t ask for much, and don’t give much to yourself. With this life of exhaustion and deprivation, your body is eventually going to take a hit. Over-giving is just not healthy…for you, your mate, or your relationship.
On the surface, the partner who “takes” is the all around winner here. But looking a little deeper, we find that they lose out too. They become so dependent on you that they don’t learn to nurture themselves, which is necessary to feel good and take charge of their life. Know what else? They don’t have a mate, they have a slave!…which deep-down doesn’t feel good either. The richest and most rewarding relationship is one where two equals come together in a mutually giving way.
If all of this rings a bell, it’s time to change. Notice yourself when you feel the urge to please, and resist it. Bite your tongue when you see your partner with a long face. Let them figure it out. It also helps to think about the consequences of over-giving, i.e., an unequal, unsatisfying relationship where you feel exhausted. Ask yourself: is this what I want?
Next step: focus on yourself. What do you want? Ask for it, and if you don’t get it from your partner, give it to yourself, or get it from somewhere else…friends, family, a satisfying hobby, a pet. You will feel much better, and once your partner gets accustomed to the new you, your relationship will benefit too. Putting your energy into YOU is well worth it. Why not give it a try?
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for more great tips and insights about relationships. You can read a synopsis of the book on my website, www.infidelityandaffairs.com and buy it worldwide from all Amazon websites (both print and Kindle) and Barnes and Noble.