Nothing kills love, trust, and emotional safety in a marriage or other romantic relationship like holding our wife or girlfriend in low regard. This usually starts out small and builds over time. One of the most common silent reasons we start holding her with low regard is because we don’t set aside time for ourselves.
When we work all the time and never take time for ourselves, we burn out, become resentful, feel unappreciated, and unhappy. When we are in that mental space we radiate frustration, judgement, dissatisfaction, and anger.
We think we are hiding it, but we aren’t.
Instead we are taking an invisible junk yard dog with us everywhere we go and while we force a smile, he sits next to us snarling and making the other people in the room uneasy.
Our partners, our kids, our friends and extended family, our co-workers and clients, and even strangers don’t have the words for the way we make them feel, but non-verbally they feel something is wrong and they don’t like it. They don’t feel safe. This is especially true for women and children who already feel threatened by the world.
The good news is we have the power to reconnect with our joy, experience happiness, and influence our interactions in positive ways.
An easy first step is carving out time for ourselves to do something that has nothing to do with making money, or supporting our family, or making anyone else happy. We can set boundaries, make ourselves a priority, and set aside time to just be ourselves and do something for ourselves.I know.
I hear you. I struggled with this for years too. Anytime I wasn’t working, I felt guilty, or lazy, or afraid that somehow I would have “too much fun” and then not take care of my responsibilities.This was my “nice guy” controlling my life through fear. My people pleasing, confrontation avoidant Mr. Nice Guy was afraid of what people would think if I did something “silly” or “frivolous” or “stupid”. I was so hardwired to people pleasing that I wasn’t pleasing myself.
But now, as part of my nice guy recovery, I have taken improv classes, thrown axes for two years in two different weekly leagues, shoot photography, and now I’m learning to in-line skate. Not because those things would advance my career or earn me money or make others happy.
When we are happy, we show up in our own lives energized and ready to share our surplus happiness with others.
Those experiences make ME happy and when we are happy we show up in our own lives energized and ready to share our surplus happiness with others. We can take on adversity with a lighter spirit and we can genuinely smile without that junk yard dog snarling and eyeballing people. He’s got one good eye and a scare over where the other eye used to be. Did I mention that before?
So please, stop feeding that snarling junk yard dog of shame, worry, self-criticism, and those made up stories about what other people think about what you are doing or not doing. Take it off, feel some relief and breathe for awhile.
Do something YOU want to do just because YOU want to do it.
Other people may scratch their heads and wonder “what’s gotten into him”. But that’s okay. It doesn’t mean anything about who you are. It just means that they need time to observe, adjust, and possibly follow your lead. Remember this isn’t for anyone else but you AND everyone around you will benefit from the joy and happiness that you will radiate.
Do you feel resentment, frustration, or anger toward your wife or girlfriend? Do you feel like you are the only one who is trying in your relationship? Is she quiet, withdrawn, disconnected, and uninterested in talking? Do you feel like roommates? Would you like to know how to fix things and get back to a loving relationship with more connection, more sex, and more happiness overall? I can help you.
Let’s schedule a phone conversation to talk about your situation and how you can become a happy man again.
Much love brother!
Happy Man Coach
Photo by Marco Jimenez