It’s a given that most smart, responsible and successful women are good at at fixing things! It’s an awesome trait to have, and it really keeps you moving forward in life when you need to get things done. But has your talent become a potential problem in your relationship? Read on to see what I’m talking about!
Let me ask you:
Did you ever have an experience in school where you were assigned to a group project, and you had no choice who you were in a group with?
I always hated the fact if someone else’s work wasn’t good or if they didn’t do it, *I* got penalized for their lack of work and quality. So the choice was either to accept a lower grade because it wasn’t as good as it could be or to do someone else’s work for them. I always chose the second because I wasn’t about to let someone else bring me down. It felt good to save the day, but I was always unimpressed with the slacker.
You know this kind of behavior happens in relationships too. When a woman has no faith in others being able to take responsibility for themselves, she thinks she has to be the one who does everything. So while she makes the relationship work, she carries the entire burden of it as well. And well, that’s a recipe for relationship break down one way or another.
Look I know it feels good to help someone. It gives you a boost to help a man fix problems he’s had in the past and to bear some of his responsibilities so that he doesn’t fail. It feels like that help might send things in the right direction, help him get started, or motivate him, so you feel like you’ve done something good. And surely you have, except for one thing: you’ve taken over his responsibilities for him, which keeps him from stepping up and being engaged in the relationship he is building with you.
The truth is, his problems are not your responsibilities. And if he’s not asking you for help, then you’re setting yourself for the group project all over again. You take over to make things good and right, and eventually those feelings of being pleased with yourself for doing so will turn into resentment because it feels like once again you are the one carrying the weight of the relationship – it feels one-sided.
Here is the deal, if you set it up like this, why would he suddenly feel engaged? If he knows you’ll make everything “better” then you’re clearly sending him the message that you will take his problems on as part of your work load. Speaking of that think about work – we all know that doesn’t feel good when we get stuck doing other people’s work in our careers, and in our personal lives it can be a real relationship killer…not to mention a downer on romance…
Then there’s all of the excuses about why he can’t do it. Look I know it’s true that he might not be able to do some things as well as you can, but the only way people learn, is to start doing things themselves. And if he can’t work on his problems or doesn’t want to, you have to ask yourself if that’s the kind of guy that aligns with what you really want in a relationship.
Of course it’s ok to give him help when he asks, but even then you don’t need to take over whatever it is. This can be hard for a high-achiever – I know because I am totally that way myself and it took me a while to learn to mind my own business. If you step in constantly and fix things, fix him, fix the situation, then you are taking away the opportunity for him to communicate when he really needs help. Additionally you are telling him that he doesn’t have to step up. Not to mention in many ways you are disempowering him and sending him the message that he is not a capable man (hint → it emasculates him and men HATE that…)
So here are some tips on what to do if you feel you are the only one making the relationship happen:
#1 – Become aware.
Mindfully take inventory of when you’re trying to step in. Notice when you’re automatically doing something that he is totally capable of doing. Notice when you feel uncomfortable because something isn’t being done YOUR way. If it’s something that truly bothers you, talk about it with him instead of coming behind him and doing it your way – that just shows him that you don’t value what he does. Ask him what he thinks about your idea rather than telling him what to do. That makes it feels like your way is the only way. Remember your approach has a big part in this.
#2 – Let him ask you for support.
STOP jumping in. Give him space. You will create a co-dependent relationship based on enabling if you do everything for him. So if he really needs your support with something, let him ask. And if you think he might be too proud to ask for it, mention that you noticed he was having difficulty and ask him if that is true and if yes, how can you support him. Perhaps he’ll communicate what’s going on for him. And if he says he’s fine, let him be.
#3 – Give him some credit.
Just because he is not doing things your way doesn’t mean he can’t do them. It seems that when someone is left with no one else to help, all of a sudden they’re able to accomplish things themselves. It’s not always the case, but it happens a lot more often than we think. And if, once he knows you’re not going to swoop in and fix things, he doesn’t show evidence of getting things done himself, you have to ask yourself if this is really a match for you. He may be a great guy, he just might not be the right one for you.
As always, I wanna hear from you. I wanna know the biggest insight you’re taking away from this blog. Leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this blog, join Dating with Confidence’s FREE and PRIVATE Facebook group, “Dating Tips For Savvy Single Ladies,” where you can have more personal interaction with me and get support around your love life. And share this blog with your friends.
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