When it comes to being true to who you are in relationship, it’s easy to let old habits take over. It’s easy to sacrifice your needs unnecessarily – especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. When old habits take the driver’s seat, you can find yourself sacrificing your own needs when it isn’t necessary. This can reinforce your subconscious belief that you have to give yourself up in order to be nice or to “make things work.” If you have your copy of the Relationship Rights Checklist, you know that it’s healthy to think, feel and do everything in the way that’s most natural to you within the context of your relationship. (If you don’t have your FREE Relationship Rights Checklist yet, just click here to get it.) Today, I’m going to share an example of how I sabotaged my “Do You” mantra in my marriage.
But first, let me introduce you to my beloved . . .
This was the day we spent playing in the hat shop.
Here’s another one of my favorite hats from that day.
Playing is a big way that life and love opens up when you courageously bring your authentic self to relationship.
But I wasn’t always so good at bringing my real self to my love life.
In fact, after 20 years struggling to understand myself within abusive relationships layered over a lifetime of letting the Mormon Church control my mind and emotions, I was much, much better at deferring to other’ preferences rather than knowing – must less asking for – what I wanted.
Then one day early in our relationship I found myself feeling disappointed because my sweetheart didn’t cater to my preference (that I hadn’t spoken to him).
I don’t remember what I was actually disappointed about – it could have been:
- that he didn’t take the trash out (I thought it was his job)
- that he didn’t come home from work early after I told him that I would be home early (assuming – but not saying – he would come home early because I did)
- that he would call me if he was not going to be home at the normal time.
You get the picture? I watched his behavior and felt disappointed when he didn’t meet my expectations. After the fact, I carefully described my disappointment to him. His response?
“I expect you to put on your Big Girl Panties & tell me what you want!”
Yes! He told me to put on my big girl panties! 😮
You know what? He was right!
Here’s what I started doing after that conversation: I began paying really close attention to what I wanted for myself. And, I started asking for what I wanted.
Best of all – I started taking courage to express myself without asking anyone’s permission! I discovered that I really like boy-short hair, I love red henna, I adore piercings and I’m really into tattoos! 🙂 I just LOVE putting myself “out there” in the world in my own unique style.
You know what else I discovered?
There is no greater gift you can give yourself than the freedom to be you!
So – put on your Big Girl Panties and start paying attention to what you really want. That’s the first step to derailing the “auto-pilot” that leads to you sacrificing your needs unnecessarily in your relationship.
Ready to take the next steps, learn what it takes to create a healthy relationship and claim the healthy love you deserve? Discover the 14 Rights of a Loving Relationship and sign up for the FREE 30-Day Relationship Rights e-Course by clicking here.
© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2016 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.