Is this you?…giving, giving, giving, wearing yourself out catering to your partner? Do you notice a hang-dog look, rush over to find out what’s wrong, then work to fix them? In other words, 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.
Problem is, over-giving makes you angry and resentful. You’re so busy taking care of them that your own needs have flown out the window. You’re not one to ask for much, and don’t give much to yourself. You become deprived and exhausted, and eventually your body will take a hit. Over-giving is just not healthy…for you, your partner, 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 partner, they have a slave! And deep-down that 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. Here are three suggestions that will help:
- Notice yourself when you feel the urge to help and resist it.
- Bite your tongue when you see your partner with a long face. Let them figure it out.
- Think about the negative consequences of over-giving, i.e., an unequal, unsatisfying relationship where you feel deprived and 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 great tips and insights about finding peace and your internal wisdom. You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including www.amazon.com