Many husbands and boyfriends these days are operating on a dangerous set of “rules”.
I didn’t see this and I didn’t escape this reality until much later in life.
Now that my eyes are clear and my head is on straight, I want to help you before it’s too late.
The Dangerous Rules
The dangerous rules that many guys were raised with sound like this:
• If momma ain’t happy then nobody’s happy.
• Don’t rock the boat
• Walking on eggshells is what good boys do.
• Happy wife – happy life
• Whatever you do, do not piss her off.
• Make sure you get a kitchen pass.
• Your needs are always second.
• All women are emotional. Deal with it. suck it up and learn to apologize.
Why These are Dangerous Rules
These are dangerous rules because each one puts you into a second-fiddle frame of mind.
The second-fiddle frame of mind makes you do dangerous things like this:
• Tread lightly and tentatively in every conversation
• Act with caution and uncertainty when it comes to decisions
• Seek approval and validation constantly
• Follow her moods up and down like you’re riding on her roller-coaster
• Over-react every time you think you did something good and got no credit
• Argue with her about things that need no argument
• Get defensive and justify yourself each time she seems unhappy
• Stay in a perpetual “pissy” state of resentment and indignation
What Happens When You Do That
The second-fiddle frame of mind makes your relationship incredibly frustrating and stressful.
Here’s what happens when you go there.
• You feel like crap. Angry crap.
• She finds you indescribably unattractive and unsexy.
• You want to avoid her and hide out.
• She wants “space” from you.
• You complain about lack of intimacy.
• She says she doesn’t need another kid to take care of.
• You go to work mad and under perform.
• She sleeps with her back to you.
How to Stop Being Dependent
The short story above has become an epidemic of sorts. As I mentioned, I finally got my vaccine.
The cure to this cycle of despair lies in one very elusive character trait.
Without it, we are doomed to depend on the feedback, permission and endorsement of everyone else but ourselves.
And in your relationship, lacking self-reliance may very likely be the culprit behind your frustrations and dissatisfaction. It’s also normally tied to feelings of neglect, emasculation and disrespect.
Self-reliance is the trait of being able to self-endorse, self-validate and self-approve. I help men learn how to earn these stripes through action – one step at a time.
These are the entry-level actions you must take to become self-reliant.
• Make a non-negotiable list of your self-expectations independent of anyone else’s opinion. What do you demand of yourself without needing input from anyone else?
• Make a non-negotiable list of what you expect for yourself. What do you demand for the environment and relationship you want to live in?
• Make a non-negotiable list of the specific boundaries you have for your own behavior and for those you choose to include in your life. Decide that you will hold yourself accountable and stand up for yourself.
• Understand that no man is born self-reliant. Most of us slowly and surely give up our independence and learn to measure our value, significance and worthiness through the eyes of others. This can easily be reversed with proper desire, focus and commitment.
What Happens When You Become Self-Reliant?
When men learn to become self-reliant, I hear them say things like, “Holy crap, this is so liberating!”
Or, “I had no idea how dependent I had become and how it was making me – and her – crazy.”
Or, “I feel so damn confident now, it’s funny to see her chasing me for a change.”
I don’t make this stuff up. Those are real stories.
It’s so simple but yet so difficult to see when you’re in the chaos and pain of a relationship.
Self-reliant people wake up happier and go to bed more content. They don’t think of being alone as loneliness.
Self-reliant people tend to talk more clearly and boldly without worrying about reactions or judgement.
Self-reliant people trust their own judgement, are more decisive and they don’t seek approval for who they are.
And most importantly…they’re not assholes.
They find out the only way to truly love, truly be present, truly empathize and truly support another is when they don’t need anything from them.
If you’re a man feeling stuck in second-fiddle mode and you want more confidence, I invite you to download this free ebook to learn more. The Hard-to-Swallow Secret to Saving Your Marriage. Get it by clicking HERE
Photo: billthinh.inet /Flickr
This Post Originally Appeared on Good Men Project But Posted here with special permission from the Author.