Where has marriage hidden the fun-loving selves of the past?
Fun, playfulness, romance and flirting—it's one of the first things to fly out the window when we have the house, the kids, the work and all the other stuff we have to manage!
And before we know it, we're stuck in Over-Responsibility Land, where we are all uptight, pissed, frustrated, overwhelmed, disappointed and basically Bitch-O-Rama a good portion of every stinkin' day.
And God help the man who tries to help and doesn’t do it "right" or worse—the man who doesn't try to help at all! Now we direct that Bitch-O-Rama at him! Criticism, rolling the eyes, little (or not so little) digs about how he does nothing, until we finally blow, ranting or crying about how it’s just too much and we are miserable.
How Did This Happen?
It's actually not your fault—it happened organically! But the good news is, you can turn it around!
It was a sneaky, little underground attack in your blueprint that caused this! Your blueprint or your software comprises of your beliefs, values, and the meanings you give things. It's what your brain and nervous system use to "run your show" everyday—the software of you!
What Does This Blueprint Have To Do With Not Having Any Fun?
Explain, you ask? Oh, it would be my pleasure! Prepare to have your mind blown.
It starts so innocently.
"Other people do shit wrong and I do it right."
"That's not the way I would have done it"
"That's not quite what I wanted"
"I was dreaming about how this would be and that ain't it"
Any of that sound familiar?
When we find ourselves in a committed long term relationship where we are "hinged" to the other person, eventually we start evaluating everything that person thinks/feels/says/does based on what we would think/feel/say/do.
Yes you do. You measure the way they do it against how you would do it for yourself in order to decide if you are HAPPY or UNHAPPY with what they think/feel/say/do.
If their actions/words match or exceed your expectations, you are HAPPY. If they fall short, you are UNHAPPY. Make sense now?
Sure, it makes sense, but there's a HUGE pitfall here honey. You're destined for UNHAPPY in this math. HOW?
The partner that you have is, by definition, a separate human being from you. That means that, by definition, they have their own blueprint, their own software…and it's not yours! And if your partner is someone of the opposite gender, oh my, they are practically a different species than you!
So they will actually NEVER think/feel/say/do the same as you…so UNHAPPY is going to come up for you a freakin' lot! (That's the technical term for it…I checked). So over time, this "Consistent Unhappiness" builds.
And eventually it turns into resentment, frustration, bitterness, anger and even despair!
So, Where Did The Fun, Playful And Flirty You Go?
She's suited up under that armor designed to protect her from all this disappointment, pain and bullshit!
She's doing it all herself, pissed about it, wanting him to swoop in and provide and serve for her, but she's probably mourning the death of that dream as she turns her attention to the kids, her work, her folks, her friends and whatever gives her momentary pleasure or escape.
Maybe that's not you, or maybe some of it is. What happened? No one told you, so you never made The Shift.
What am I talking about? I know you are going to logically understand what I am about to say, but I want you to truly take a look at your trajectory and ask yourself where you see this dynamic happening. Did you, or did you not, make The Shift?
When two people commit to each other, live a life together, maybe get married, maybe have kids...when they COMMIT, there needs to be a SHIFT. Commitment means ALL IN.
I know you know that. But honey, all in means ALL FUCKING IN. Not "all in if you please me," not "all in if you load the dishwasher so that more than 3 bowls and a spoon fit in," not "all in as long as you don't break this rule that I have" and not "all in except when I'm so frustrated with you that I put up walls."
All In Means All-Fucking-In! No rules, no limits—it means all in!
How To Know You've Made The Shift.
When you go All In with another person, you have to Make The Shift:
- Your partner becomes your number one priority over everything and everyone else in life.
- You make decisions based on what is best for you two together and not for just YOU.
- Your partner's happiness is as important to you as your own.
- You understand and accept that they are completely different from you.
- You know it is YOUR JOB to understand how they're wired.
- It's your responsibility to love them unconditionally for who they are not who you want them to be.
- From now on things aren't going to go your way and be done the way you want them to, and you will allow for doing things your partner's way, too.
- You will cherish their flaws.
- You will allow them to serve you and love you.
- When they do shit wrong you will love them for who they are and not what they do…and then you will realize that you are being too controlling and need to grow here and thank them for being the catalyst for your growth! BAM!
- You rearrange your life for them (and they will with you).
- You will STOP LIVING LIKE TWO SINGLE PEOPLE who live in the same house and are trying to have kids while still leading single individual lives.
- You will no longer think and say things like "I have to be me"...you are two now, it's not about you.
- You will stop making everything about you, how you want it, what you expected, and what you planned—all that shit is over.
- You picked them, you committed to them.
Can you "check the box" next to each of those items? Did you do all that?
If not, then you never made The Shift! It's not your fault! Did anyone give you that checklist before you committed? Did anyone tell you this is what it takes? Did you and your partner sit down with this list and agree to these terms?
NO? Don't worry, nobody did. Some of us learned the hard way along the journey. But no one handed us this list either! That is what it takes to make The Shift—that is commitment!
What does that have to do with the lack of fun and playfulness? You never shifted gears. You never actually went ALL IN! You have now experienced years or maybe decades of upset, disappointment, pain, frustration or hurt, from the lousy "measuring math" in your blueprint.
No wonder you lost the fun, playfulness and flirting and got stuck in being Bitch-O-Rama in your over-responsibility feeling that no one else is doing anything but you.
The truth is, when he tries to DO stuff and you criticize, correct or don't accept it the way he delivers it, you are rejecting him and teaching him NOT to help you.
And if he's NOT doing anything to help you, there's a good reason for that too. It's the masculine and feminine misunderstanding each other.
Men don't help unless they're asked, because it would be a sign of disrespect to offer help to another man who didn't ask for help (it implies he doesn't have his shit together and there is no trust that he'll get his shit done).
So unless he's looking to get hit, a man wouldn't offer unsolicited help to another man. A man's blueprint says to only offer help when someone ASKS you for help directly. And women have been "trained" not to ask for help unless the refrigerator fell on us, so you can see the dilemma.
By the way ladies...men don't offer unsolicited help. And YOU do, all the fucking time. And every time you do, he takes it as your lack of confidence in him as a man (maybe stop it). It's messy I know. But it's not impossible to fix.
The great news is that you didn't "pick wrong," it's not just YOUR man, and there's nothing wrong with you. Without understanding and appreciating what's going on, and without the tools to turn this around, this is what organically happens as committed relationships progress. What to do now?
Happiness is a choice! Playfulness is a choice! Every time your partner interacts with you, you have a choice in how you respond.
All our bitching, nagging and dissatisfaction to "punish" them, send the message or correct them doesn't work anyway. The years and decades of being pissed or sad haven't fixed this and they are not going to. So you may as well stop it and try something else.
Try DOING happy! Try DOING playful! Try it just for 10 minutes and then go back to your Bitch-O-Rama or whatever it is for you. I'm not trying to take that away from you.
It's 100% your choice how you react to your partner.
Yeah, you may be stuck in a pattern. But you created it and when you DECIDE, you can create something different!
This article was originally published at Stacey Martino | Love and Passion Coach. Reprinted with permission from the author.