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It’s not about mothers, but about adjusting to change. The rewiring of the brain, the skill development comes in learning to be proactive rather than passively reactive. And then take what you get – no criticism, no micromanaging. Because passivity can be an auto response to avoiding conflict and submerging negative emotions, anytime….anytime your partner expresses any negative emotion – frustration, irritation, annoyance, anger, disappointment – encourage the expression by remaining calm, by listening. Now we are 10 years into our marriage and I feel very lonely.
One way to do this is to ask your partner to be in charge of something – an upcoming vacation, a dinner for friends. This is an experiment in and experience in proactivity, not about ideal vacations or dinner parties. It is not about the content, it is about helping your partner feel safe in expressing these types of feelings. If you have been carrying the weight of decisions, if you have been feeling frustrated, get it on the table. He doesn't want to take care of things at home but refuses to move to smaller place. I have talked and talked with him but it just seems I am singing the same to on over and over. They are helpful, particularly the part that warns the partner doing all the heavy lifting not to be a martyr. On the other hand, not being a martyr means that if the passivity remains notwithstanding attempts to eliminate it that the partnership has to end.
He’s kind, attentive and affectionate- when we’re together.
He communicates with me daily, mostly through text message, to which I always respond warmly.
Passivity is obviously at the “flight” end of the “fight or flight” stress-coping spectrum, and when stress goes up generally so too does the passivity.
They can be charming, interesting people, but the frustration comes when you feel like you are constantly doing the heavy lifting when it comes to decision-making.
You, apparently, have done both of those things, Michelle.
But while you’ve adjusted your take-charge attitude, you haven’t adjusted for the fact that you’re NOT dating a take-charge guy.
They would sooner wait to get a written notice in the mail that you’re really, truly interested in them than to follow up too much and potentially make you uncomfortable. So you’re not wrong to curb a little bit of that domineering side.Some learn this through modeling – this is how my mother coped in her own childhood and her marriage and I do the same. What eggshells are the passive partners walking on.