Your partner is not your therapist. They are not your healer, your coach, nor should they be your accountability buddy.
Stop trying to make them these things! It will sabotage your connection to try and place them in this role.
This lesson has been a hard one for me to learn. When I have been in a needy place, I seek the closest inflatable device, usually my beloved partner. Yet, this places a strain on them that they simply may not be able to keep afloat, making both of you sink.
Unless your partner has a degree in psychology or a ton of personal development experience, most likely, they simply don’t have the tools to support you in the way that you need.
Yet, even if they do have a degree in psychology, it is still wiser to do this deep work with an objective party. There’s a rule in the medical world, surgeons shouldn’t operate on their loved ones. It can get too emotionally entangled and creates excess stress that hinders their work.
There are several reasons why having your partner be your therapist is a bad idea:
1) You can’t objectively discuss topics specifically related to your partner. What if your problem is with your partner? It’s good to get an outside, wise, objective perspective that will stand for your collective growth. Talking to your partner, before you’ve worked out your stuff in relation to the matter, may make them panic and freak out.
2) Placing them in a role they shouldn’t be in is creating unneeded stress in your dynamic.You need someone to talk to, that need doesn’t need to be placed on your partner. Especially if they don’t have the tools to handle it.
3) You’re not getting the help you need to actually heal. Your partner may have the best intentions but may simply have the wrong protocol. Well intentioned, naive, and improper attempts to help can sometime even rewound you deeper!
4) Trying to place your partner in this therapy role can create unneeded suffering for all. It can be challenging for your beloved to watch you suffer and feel helpless in being able to do something about it. They may want to quickly try to fix it. Yet, this may not be what you need to truly move through the breakdown. A therapist or coach is trained to be an objective listener and can help you see your blindspots so that you can feel empowered to start to truly transform.
So, take responsibility for your healing and find the appropriate support. Your partner is not responsible for your life thriving. They can support you on that journey if you share with them how they can do that. Yet, it is still your work to do.
Be wise with who you share your stuff to. Seek community support that is objective to your circumstances and won’t be impacted by your success or failure. There should be no ulterior motives involved.
Not everyone gives the best advise when we are in a vulnerable state and can be quite impressionable. Do not choose a biased friend. While it feels great to get our best friend’s agreement. It may not be the objective evolutionary guidance that you need to grow.
(We all have that one friend who, without fully understanding the bigger picture of your dynamic, says things like, “Girl, just dump him! You’re always telling me stories of how he’s an asshole. You deserve better than this.”)
Be wise what you share about your partner to your community and friends. It’s like a curse. It can create gossip that impacts the impression your friends will have of your partner for longer than you may wish. This is why a therapist or coaching session is confidential.
So all in all, ask your partner for a hug, send your them love, let them know you’re having a hard time with something, but find the appropriate support elsewhere. Your relationship will thank you for it.
P.S. If you need an objective listening ear, contact me to request a discovery call. I will certainly do my best to support you in unraveling this tangled mess.