In the early days of marriage, I remember being terrified to speak my mind. I was afraid if speak up for what I wanted or needed he would get mad, and would end up leaving. I know how silly that must sound… so insecure, and perhaps even a bit naive to how real love actually works. I’m not entirely sure where that insecurity or fear came from, but it was there, and it was real.
It took us going through a pretty rocky season–one I’m not sure we would have survived had it not been for our faith. We found ourselves in a situation I was sure I would have walked out on before I was actually there.
At the same time, the strangest thing happened. I was no longer afraid to speak up, to petition for my needs in our relationship. There was an ease between us that wasn’t there before. Maybe it was because I knew then that we were two flawed people committed to making it work. For good or bad, in sickness, and in health until one of us kicks the bucket.
Here’s the deal…if you’re in a healthy, loving relationship, you have to know your partner is on your side.
He’s for you.
He wants to see you soar and succeed.
You mean we’re on the same side?
I used to think it was me vs him. That if one of us got what we wanted, that automatically meant the other didn’t.
I would tip-toe around what I needed, what I wanted.
And then got so mad when he didn’t read my mind accurately. This of course caused so many other problems then if I had just been up front, open, and honest with him about what I needed.
Many of my clients come to me ready and excited to make a change in their lives..yet, as we get into the work, they have all sorts of excuses why they can’t follow through–and more times than not it has something to do with their partner.
Recognizing you’re on the same team is the first step in opening the lines of communication. When you understand it’s not a fight to see who is going to get what they want, but that you both can have what you need and want, you’re able to ask for what you want without feeling ashamed or guilty.
Even though it shouldn’t be, woman guilt is a real thing. So is feeling guilty for taking time for yourself when you should be doing the laundry, cleaning a toilet, or any other item on your never ending to-do list instead of trying a new workout class or going out with your girl friends.
The problem is when we don’t ask for what we want, we often end up resenting our husbands or partners because we feel like we don’t have any time for ourselves.
…but he can’t read your mind 😉
The reality is my husband didn’t know what I needed unless I spoke up. Neither does yours.. And if they don’t know what we need, how in the world can they give it to us or help us get it for ourselves?
I had to trust him. I had to let go of control of the insecurity and fear he might leave me. I had to learn how to delegate.
Carve out the time on your calendar to chat with your partner.
Be willing to negotiate your schedules so each of you get time to recharge.
Protect the time you carved out for yourself as best as you can. I know how hard this can be when you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
Let them know how they can support you. This is key! They don’t know what you need from them unless you tell them.
Look out for the speed bumps
Not all partners will be supportive, I get that. This is an unfortunate reality too for some of you reading this. While you can’t change them, you can still control yourself and your time. Figure out ways you can still get the time you need for yourself without them feeling like you’re being selfish.
Could you do something for yourself early in the morning? Perhaps during the day, you can take a break and do something kind for yourself.
Brainstorm ways you still take the time for yourself despite them being on board.
Maybe your partner is on board, but you let your guilt win, and you don’t give yourself the time you needed and wanted. If this is where you find yourself, you’re just going to have to get over the guilt.
The best way to do that is by exploring why you’re feeling guilty about investing in yourself. What do you feel like you’re dropping the ball on if you take a time out to treat yo’self? Then ensure you take the steps needed to not drop the ball or get rid of that ball all together 😉
When you and your partner can band arms and get on the same page, it ends up being a win-win for everyone. You get what you need (time to take care of you), and they end up getting a more energized and confident version of you–which allows you to take better care of him and the rest of your responsibilities.
The best part might be, you feel like a team working for one another instead of fighting with each other. Get ready to welcome a whole lot more peace, calm, and time for yourself.