If not, rest assured, someone else is.
What follows are some quick thoughts on why you should be the main source of solutions with and for her – and some tips on how to do it.
(I am assuming heterosexual, monogamous relationships).
You should be the main source of solutions for your wife or partner because:
1. You love her. You want her to be happy, right?
2. You signed on for this. With all the fun, the sex, the stability in life and the companionship comes the reality that we are all human and need support through tough times and tough decisions. We all have emotional dilemmas and needs. Your partner has her share. And you’re it, man. She needs you. This is part of your job and a significant expression of your love.
3. As a man, you want to be in charge of your own destiny. You don’t want to invite outside parties, which may include mothers, girlfriends, guy friends, co-workers, a therapist or coach, or even a stranger on the subway to have influence into your relationship.
4. If you’re not there for her, then someone else will be, and suddenly have power over YOUR destiny. By coaching her, supporting her, and helping her make decisions, your life will be affected. This outside party may not even know you. Worse, they may know you and not like you. Why give all that power away? That would be an act of self-sabotage.
5. It’s an unavoidable issue. We all have needs. If you are not meeting her needs, she still has those needs and is entitled – as a human being – to have them met. She probably wants you to be the one to offer emotional support. Yet, if you aren’t there for her, she still needs – and absolutely deserves – someone to be.
How do you meet her emotional needs?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. First, decide to be the one. This can’t be a half-hearted effort. You need to accept, genuinely, that this is your obligation. Better, it is your RIGHT. In other words, it is a privilege to love and support someone who loves and supports you. Get your mind around it and invest in the role. You need to be prepared to do whatever it takes.
2. Next, realize she is not your mother. It’s not her job to keep you together emotionally. Get this part of your life handled if it is a problem for you. You need to be genuinely strong for her. You need her respect, not her mothering.
3. Patience. You need to listen to her with patience. I know it’s not easy to listen to someone – especially when they might be complaining. But so what? Listen anyway. Don’t interrupt every ten seconds to defend yourself as soon as you hear something that you can’t handle. Patience. Hear her out. You want to offer solutions and support. You won’t get there if you can’t listen patiently.
4. Ask: What can I do for you? So simple. And she’ll probably know, specifically. Why wouldn’t you ask? The only reason you wouldn’t ask probably has to do with not having your own emotional stuff together. It may have to do with your narcissism. But none of this is her problem.
5. Follow through and keep your agreements. Your relationship is an agreement. That agreement is held together by the small agreements you keep day to day. Start breaking those small agreements and before long you are breaking down your entire relationship.
Decide to be her emotional support. Be patient and listen. Ask what you can do for her. Follow through. It’s so simple. If you’re willing to do it, you’ll change your destiny and enjoy a sweet relationship with the one you love.
I submit that if you are unwilling to be her emotional support, then you give up any right to complain about her or your relationship.