If you didn't make things happen would your relationship fall apart?
Are you doing all the work in your relationships? Do you feel that if you didn’t make things happen everything would fall apart? I call this doing CPR in your relationship, something I was an expert in for the first 20 years of my dating life. It's when you get stuck constantly trying to revive your connection with a man for fear that if you stop, the connection could die.
This is an all too common problem because your natural tendency will be to try to make things happen. Most likely you're "a doer" and "a giver." I bet you're always there for your friends and family whenever there's a need. It's tempting to take care of others because it feels good to know you're helping people and to think that they need you; but in a romantic relationship it will be the destroyer of lasting love.
How do you know if you're doing CPR in your relationships? Well for one, you try to keep things running smoothly. You are hyper-vigilant about taking care of the details, so you don't rock the boat. Your man's comfort and wellbeing are your priority at the expense of your own.
Here are some typical CPR indicators that you may recognize:
~ You feel on edge and unable relax around a man
~ You feel exhausted and stressed most of the time
~ You constantly worry about the future and how things should be
What does it look like when you are always the "doer?”
~ You make all the decisions around your social life
~ You initiate most of the communication: phone calls, email and texting
~ You make sure he’s feeling comfortable at all times
~ You're the first to be affectionate; and tend to cling
~ You pay attention to his feelings while ignoring your own
~ You feel responsible for everything that happens
What can do to stop being a doer? The first thing you will have to do is to stop giving your relationship CPR. It is hurting you more than you know. It is depleting your energy and chipping away at your self-confidence. You've actually been keeping your relationship alive with the strength of your will and your very breath.
It’s time to take it off life support, to see if your relationship can breathe on its own. Time to stand back and wait to see what happens.
It won’t be easy; you will be leaving your comfort zone of being a doer and always in control. It may help for you to take a short trip away where you can be out of touch and do some self care to replenish yourself.
But to know the health of your relationship, it’s necessary for you to find out if it can stand on its own. You need to know exactly how invested he is in you.
If communication stops, you can assume he's gotten used to fact that you’ve been doing all the work, that your CPR has been keeping the relationship alive. It's time to see if the relationship can begin to breathe on it's own. See if you can:
~ Stop calling and texting and see how long it takes him to
get in touch with you
~ Stop initiating physical contact and see how long it takes
him to reach out for you
~ Stop doing and start just "being" with him
When you do you’ll find yourself loosing the anxiety and worry that has weighed you down and you'll begin to feel lighter, more self-assured and free to be yourself. Don’t rush to judgment, just like you, he has to get used to showing up in the relationship in a new way.
You might lose him if he is unwilling to breathe on his own, but it would only have been a matter of time before you lost him anyway.