In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about the two things that get in the way of reaching a decision you both agree to and can happily implement.
Resentment can build gradually in a relationship. But, if left unchecked, it can choke all the love out of it. As we’ve been talking about, proceeding with a plan of action that you don’t agree with is one of the easiest ways for resentment to get a toe hold in your marriage. There are two common characteristics that often lead to this unpleasant result.
Discomfort with Uncertainty? The first, discomfort with uncertainty, is present in almost every relationship. One of the two of you is more uncomfortable with not having an answer. This is the person who is most likely to “give in” and agree to a solution they aren’t really on board with. Their anxiety over not having an answer is greater than their immediate desire to have a plan, even a bad one. And I can almost guarantee that one of you fits this description.
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But, as I tell my clients, the only thing that requires an immediate answer is “Does the doctor perform emergency surgery?” Anything else, you have time. Learning to manage your anxiety over that time is what is going to get you from “a fast solution” to the “best solution”. Paying attention to your desire for control, and learning to breathe through it, is the key to your success.
People Pleasing? The second characteristic is a bit more problematic. This is the desire to keep the peace at all costs by trying to ensure everyone is happy. The idea of people pleasing is unworkable because there is no way to make everyone happy all the time. The person who usually gets left out of the equation is the one trying to please. These are the people who end up sacrificing their own needs and desires, becoming martyrs to their own misery. Eventually, they get tired of being last-usually in their late 40s or early 50s-or they meet someone who they feel appreciates them and they blow their marriage apart.
Don’t Suffer in Silence. I have had many clients over the years that fit this profile. They don’t believe they have the right to ask for anything or that, if they voice their desires, they will hurt their partner’s feelings. So they suffer in silence. One just recently had the epiphany that he didn’t have to sacrifice what was important for him to maintain the relationship. My response to this healthy shift was “Confetti all around!” My argument to him, and to you, is that if you aren’t happy in the relationship, the relationship won’t work in the long run.
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Greater Challenges. Finding a way to put you into the relationship equation isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. You aren’t more important than your partner; you are equally important. Your partner may be a bit uncomfortable with a more assertive you, but ending the relationship will bring greater challenges.
How does your anxiety show up in how you make decisions? Do you sacrifice what you want to keep the peace? Why? Share your thoughts below. Also, if you have a question you would like addressed, write it below in the comment section or if you’re on my website (aFearlessMarriage.com), click on the contact button and let me know there. Thanks for dropping by. Until next time, I hope you have a loving day.
About Lesli. Lesli Doares is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and an expert Marriage Consultant for Huffington Post, SELF Magazine, Woman’s Day, the John Tesh Radio Program and more! To schedule a confidential appointment with Lesli, contact Lesli for a confidential conversation.