You don’t have to be the one to fix what’s wrong. Wow that’s an interesting concept isn’t it. I have to confess I’ve been mulling this idea for a while and finally got around to putting it down on “paper”. You’ll either know exactly what I mean, or you’ll be shaking your head.
I believe as women we just get used to fixing things. Or making it right. Making others feel better, sometimes at the cost of our own feelings. From making sure our kids didn’t hurt on our watch to soothing our husband through his first layoff, we’re ready to pick up the burden of everyone around us to make it better. We don’t want anyone to feel bad or hurt if we can fix or soothe the pain away.
Why We Try to Fix Relationships
Have you been hurt or or let down by someone, but still have the subconscious need to “fix” the relationship? I say subconscious because you’re on auto pilot. You’re so accustomed to making things right for everyone else, you let your own needs get sidetracked. Like the need to be in a healthy happy relationship with someone who respects you and treats you as you deserve.
Glossing over the bad feelings and trying to smooth over any tensions. It’s what a lot of us women do. If you’ve grown up in a family who were borderline difficult to get along with or you chose a partner who is, let’s just say high maintenance, you find you’re always the one to smooth things over.
Even if you’re not in the habit of putting others needs first, you still may feel a subtle sense of guilt if you don’t step up and take care of your family, your children or your partner. Often again at the expense of your own needs. The unspoken expectation is women are the glue that holds the family together. We accept that concept too readily and perhaps we need to question why it’s up to us to be the fixer.
Do “fixers” have a need to be needed? Of course, but I’m not talking about those who live to be in charge. For most of us, I believe we’re fixing more out of habit, obligation and societal pressure. It’s expected of us. We’re not doing it to get points. We do it because it’s what we know, what’s been drummed into us from an early age. Nurture, take care and soothe.
Stop Fixing Things and See What Happens
If a relationship is going off the track, doesn’t feel right or is keeping you unhappy, you don’t have to be the one to fix it, to read the self help books or try to figure out why.
I’m not saying don’t make any effort, but be conscious about when to let the other person meet you halfway.
Fix yourself, fix your thoughts, fix your finances, but don’t spend your time and energy trying to fix any relationship by yourself. You don’t have to be the one to suggest counseling or to suggest we “work” on things. It has to be an equal game. Both people have to throw in the same amount of energy and time. It’s not just up to you to save things.
This is true of any relationship. Partnership, adult children, family or friends.
You’re smart enough to know when your time and energy isn’t reciprocated. Now all you have to do is act on it. Or actually NOT act on it if you know what I mean.
Mindfulness is being aware of our thoughts and intuitively putting what we know into practice. Resist that urge to fix what may be broken. See what happens. Try letting someone else fix things for a change.