Why can’t he just do things the right way?
I should have felt annoyed.
It was Saturday evening.
I arrived home after holding my Sensual Soul Workshop and I was feeling great; light, soft, present and open……. in essence sensual.
I had spent the day with a group of women letting go of our need to be perfect and welcoming our more natural, honest selves. It was such a relief from all the striving and controlling that comes from trying to keep all the balls of mother. wife and Superwoman in the air.
However, when I walked in the door, I came face to face with a scene that promised to spiral me into a cranky, resentful state.
It was 7pm and the first thing I saw was my young children snacking on crackers.
“Is this dessert?” I asked,
“No we haven’t had dinner yet” they replied.
My husband as it turns out had been doing other things and lost track of time. Dinner was still an hour away.
I normally would have been instantly annoyed, pissed off and super critical of him. I would have let him know because it would have felt personal. I would have had thoughts flirting with my mind such as;
– if I don’t do everything, it all goes to shit
– he hasn’t looked after the children “correctly”
– he doesn’t care about what I want
– he has just looked after himself (I know! How dare he! J)
But you know what? This time, with me centred in my heart and my body, it felt different.
I didn’t feel annoyed.
I recognised, in that moment, that it would have been hypocritical of me to have spent all day honouring and valuing MY needs & feelings, if I could not make the space for him to honour and value his too.
Dinner, when it came, was nice. We all ate together as a family. My husband was happy and totally unaware of the annoyance potential of this scene for me. The kids were tired, but they didn’t have a problem with it either.
I once had a dear colleague say to me;
“Honestly, me and my husband would be just fine if he would only do what I told him to do, when I told him to do it!!”
I was shocked. Not only, because I too had had these thoughts myself, but that she had dared to say them out loud. It was in her saying them out loud that it hit me – this is not right!
It kind of woke me up from my own well ingrained stupor and made me realise just how controlling and demanding this role of mother and wife had made me/us.
How often do you hear married women ask their girlfriends the question:
Why can’t he just do things the “right” way/the way I want him to do it?
Quite often right?
But we’ve got it wrong. Wee are wrongly equating their ability to be controlled by us, with the amount of love they have for us. For me, him not doing things right, always felt personal, like he mustn’t love me enough to care.
That evening, I scanned my body and mind for my old pattern, but it just wasn’t there. What a relief. Instead it felt like I had more power to choose how I wanted to respond and what I wanted to believe about it.
And the shift, I believe, came from these things;
- Letting go of beliefs that don’t serve me
As part of the workshop I had just run, we had collected limiting, stifling, outdates beliefs about ourselves. All those lies that we had been telling ourselves, all the bullshit that we had absorbed and swallowed over the years that did not serve us anymore.
We felt them, processed them and then later on in the evening, burnt them and let them go.
Beliefs such as;
I am not sexy
I am not worthy of love
I am ugly
I can’t be accepted if I am not thin
And then these ones;
I need to stick to structure
I need to be perfect
I have to be in control
So, as I sat down to dinner at 8pm with my exhausted children, I had the image in my mind’s eye of my old beliefs going up in smoke.
I was letting go of needing to be perfect and structured and in control. Needing dinner at 6.30pm. Needing to give my kids constant attention. Needing my husband to fit into my idea of how things should be.
I felt the thoughts waft away on the breeze.
It reminded me of the old question “do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?”
Perhaps to my mother instincts, feeding my kiddies dinner at 8pm was wrong. But it was not actually going to hurt anyone, and I got to choose how I responded….. and I chose to feel happy.
- My husband is not a hairy misbehaving woman
My husband is in fact a man. Being a man, he sees things differently and he approaches things differently to me, a woman. To appreciate him I need to see him through a different filter. Not the filter of a woman who is misbehaving, as illuminated for me by the book “The Queen’s Code” by Alison Armstrong.
This book has helped me see myself and suggested that I have perhaps been seeing my husband and myself through the filter of the perfect woman, and that it is nearly impossible for either of us to measure up, dooming us both to failure. Have I been seeing him and men in general as misbehaving, hairy women? It is quite possible.
He is built for focus. He is a provider.
All those times I have got cranky with him for not trying to do things that for me were glaringly obvious, he had not even noticed. Instead he was busily working away on some project that he hoped would benefit me and the family.
When I look at him as a man. I see his love and devotion and I reignite the attraction dynamic that sparks deep in my loins. He seems all the more masculine. And him not having dinner on the table is not him misbehaving, it is not a reflection of a lack of love or care for me. In fact, in his world, it is just not a big problem at all.
It just is.
He was doing other things.
If I want him to do things in an exact way, he can but I would need a slightly more appealing approach for the way he is wired.
If it was that important; I needed to make my request clear. I needed to appeal to the provider and the one who loves to solve my problems.
Me being cool with it (him being him) feels joyous, connected and empowered.
- Being in my body not my head
When I am centred in my head I am much more likely to be drawn into the “old stories of woe”. When I am in my body, I am much more able to feel my heart.
My head consciousness is the part of me that is always looking out for my safety, and man! is she vigilant. The slightest hint of danger and she is “guns ablazing” ready to fight (or run). In this case, as in most cases in my life, the danger was not life/ death of the saber-tooth variety, but abandonment by my man.
How was this abandonment, you may ask? (although I am sure you can relate) Well, in the logic of my protective self, my husband had not been thinking of me and had not done things the way I like them done which then led to the conclusion that he didn’t care enough about me. And if he didn’t care enough about me, perhaps he didn’t want to be with me. Saying it out loud it sounds crazy, but this is the logic of the protective self.
My life has me in my head a lot. Constant busyness, constant problem solving, noise, input, stimulus, screens, work, thinking, thinking and then more thinking. It takes a massive effort to come back to the body. Back to feeling, sensing and being present. Back to the heart and the energy that I am emitting and receiving in the present moment.
On this particular evening, I was centred in my heart and it saved me from an evening of bitter crankiness.
So how about you?
Are there some limiting or outdated beliefs that you have been projecting onto your relationship that it is time to burn?
Here’s what to do.
- Grab a pad and start writing out your limiting beliefs.
- Collect a whole wad.
- In the next new moon, go outside and find a safe place to start a fire.
- Read out your beliefs, feel their tension and then feed them to the fire. Watch them go up in smoke.
- When you are done – take a few deep breaths in and sigh out.
Feel in to your centre and your heart.
- Thank the moon.
- Then tune in to what has shifted.
Do you see men (and possibly your man) as a hairy misbehaving woman?
Become aware of how often your quest for perfection, for you or your partner gets in the way of feeling good and connected. If you are expecting him to be perfect I can assure you, you are putting that same pressure right on yourself too. Maybe, in the scheme of things, what you are demanding doesn’t really matter that much and you could choose joy and connection instead.
You could read more; The Queen’s Code by Alison Armstrong but be warned, I found this book quite difficult to read as it was so clunky.
Do you spend too much time in your protective head?
How can you come back to your body? What are your favourite ways to reconnect to your heart?
Make a list and start with the things that excite and delight you the most.
Check out my program More Joy, less struggle for more on centring in your heart and body.
I wish you luck in your explorations,
I would love to hear from you in the comments.
FYI: This post is a rehash of something I wrote a few years back after my last Sensual Soul workshop. I thought it was a good massage to share again.