In case you didn’t already know, I help scared wives build stable homes.
My clients almost always believe some version of “His choices limit mine.”
Maybe he’s critical. Or controlling. Or dismissive.
Maybe he’s cheated.
Maybe he has violent outbursts – whether that be yelling or breaking things or maybe even physical violence against her or the kids.
Maybe he withholds financial resources or looks at porn.
There are lots of reasons a wife might believe her husband’s choices limit hers.
What about you? Have you ever thought something along those lines?
If so, I get it.
It makes sense to me why you might be on guard – waiting to respond based on what you think his mood might be.
I’m guessing that pattern plays out for you in lots of big and little ways.
You maybe get that you kinda have a choice, but it’s not a “real” choice because both options are pretty crappy.
You either say the thing and then he’s mad or you keep quiet and now you’re all alone with the kids for another Saturday.
You make a decision and risk it being “wrong” or you miss an opportunity because he didn’t feel like planning in time to get it done.
It’s not fun.
But it feels safe – or at least familiar.
Now, what if I told you that there’s a way for you to have way more control here than you think you do?
Rinse and repeat.
1. Specifically identify the result you really want.
Make sure it’s not a vague generalization like “I want what’s important to me to be important to him.” It’s not that you can’t want that – you can. It’s just that it’s easier to work with a specific example of what that theme might look like in your life.
Example: I want to go to the Grand Canyon for summer vacation. NOT: I want travel to be a priority.
2. Identify ALL possible strategies to accomplish your goal – with OR without him
Think about what you might do to make it happen if he were working abroad for six months or if he had a broken leg and couldn’t help. Get creative here. Go big.
3. Choose your strategy, implement it and then take care of yourself no matter what comes
This is where paying attention to your self-talk and emotional processing is EVERYTHING. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, make sure you’ve watched this free course on “How to build a stable home no matter what your husband is doing” for more details.)
4. Regroup and reload
If your strategy didn’t get you where you wanted to go – AKA you chose to ask him and he said no or put his foot down – you’ve still got options.
Maybe you decide to ask him again because after step 3, you’re in a new headspace where you aren’t afraid or offended anymore.
Maybe you decide to utilize a different strategy to get the same goal done.
Maybe you decide to let the goal go for a reason you actually like – maybe husband wants to go to the beach instead of Grand Canyon and that REALLY IS just as good for you.
Or maybe you decide that you no longer want to deal with the effects of his choices – not because you hate him or are mad at him, but because that’s no longer the kind of life you are available for. In this scenario, the relationship is complete and you move forward from a space of loving the BOTH of you.
The point is – no matter what husband says or does, you never have to accept that as your final answer. It’s just his decision. It’s not a decree. You’re still free to get whatever it is you want. Or not. What if that’s true?
You are always in the driver’s seat, Bee. Even when that might not seem true. Even when it might seem scary or unfun.
Please know that I know driving your relationship – even when it seems like his mood is in charge – is actually pretty freeing.
You can know it too.
Or borrow that belief from me – just for a test drive.
The only thing you’ve got to lose is your fear.
Photo by Burst on Unsplash