That’s NOT my job…!

It’s tough some days figuring out what a “healthy” relationship is supposed to look like.

Now, unhealthy, I know. My ex and I were all kinds of screwed up together.

I really want to avoid making the same mistakes this time around with CBG. I don’t want my failed marriage to be for nothing.

On Monday night, CBG and I were enjoying our nightly phone call. One of the things we were talking about was his impending move. He mentioned how he’s been slacking when it comes to packing up his place. I immediately found myself getting on his case about it. Reminding him that there’s nothing worse than last minute packing, blah blah blah….

And then I did it. I stopped in mid-sentence.

I stopped in mid-sentence because I realized that reminding CBG to get his house packed up is really none of my business. He’s a 38 year old man, perfectly capable of either packing up his house, or suffering the consequences if he procrastinates for too long. I’m not his momma. And I certainly don’t want to be the nagging girlfriend, or someday the nagging wife. I played that part before, and it’s not a suitable role for me. Hell, it’s not a suitable role for anyone, as far as I’m concerned.

One of the big problems in my marriage is that we really didn’t function as two separate people. We were completely intertwined and totally codependent. I thought it was part of my job as his wife, to remind him of those things that he couldn’t seem to remember on his own. I think it made me feel important in some way, like he was counting on me or something.

Now when it comes to CBG, sure there are things I like him to count on me for. Like to be his cheering section. Or his sounding board. Or the safe place for him to land when life gets tough. But reminding him how to be a responsible adult? No way. That job is his, and his alone. That’s not my job.

And so, I took our phone conversation in a totally different direction. I promised that I wouldn’t bug him anymore about packing, since it had zero effect on my life when he gets it done. But I did also let him know that when I come to visit in two weeks, I can only promise to help with last minute packing as much as is reasonable. I’m certainly NOT going to stay up until 4:00 in the morning before moving day, helping out. heh. ‘Cuz that’s how I roll.

And you know what? It’s actually pretty liberating, not having to worry about your partner in this way. I am simply letting his stuff be truly his. And in the process, it gives me all the more time and energy to concern myself with those things that are so much more important.

20 Responses

  1. I appreciate this post. I couldn’t agree more that’s it is very liberating. I look foward to reading more of your post.

  2. Glad I found your blog. I can relate to everything you said. I look forward to reading more of your blog. *if I post twice my bad, web force closed on my cell and I couldn’t tell if my previous comment posted*

  3. I agree. I know my ex got used to it–instead of trying to remember himself. He still does it occasionally…and it bugs the hell out of me. I have had to make a conscious effort to stop doing it now. I don’t nag my new husband, but I can see where I’d fall into that pattern pretty easily again. However, he isn’t as lazy as the ex and will probably not give up remembering important things on his own. Good luck–it’s a hard habit to break!!

  4. Makes sense to me!

    Geekster and I came to a point a few years ago where we had to change the way we dealt with each other. Since then, we’ve been constantly evolving new and healthier ways to interact. When you marry your high school sweetheart and have three kids, a mortgage, careers and the like, it’s impossible to have a happy relationship if you keep acting like the teens you were. 17 years later, we’re still occasionally immature with one another – old habits die hard! I can see how a fresh start would definitely feel liberating, because this is a LOT of work sometimes, as much as I adore the man! LOL

    • I think it’s important to remember that relationships are always changing…as we grow and change as individuals, then the way we deal with our partner has to change as well. It’s good to see that after so many years, you and your hubby are still able to work through the tough stuff. I really admire that.

  5. Funny, we had a discussion about this same thing recently Casey and I. I need to do the same.

  6. I forgot to add I am his wife, lover, best friend, confidant but I am NOT his mother.

    • It’s good that you’re able to see that you do that, and that you want to change that dynamic. Feeling (or acting) like your husband’s momma is never a good thing!

  7. Wow, good for you! I never catch myself mid-sentence like that. It’s usually half way into a fight that I realize what I did wrong. 🙂 You can’t help but want the best for him though, and not procrastinating WOULD be in his best interest. Lol.

    • You’re right…it is tempting to tell him to do things because I know that it would make his life a whole lot easier…but the thing is, sometimes those are lessons that can only be learned the hard way…on our own.

  8. Yes. EXACTLY. And it works both ways, doesn’t it?

    This should be on your “things that rock about LDR’s” list.

    We’re learning, aren’t we?

  9. That’s actually a really good point, and one that is probably far too often overlooked. You’re absolutely right! Great post!

  10. Happy December!!
    – just stopping in mid sentence is sometimes what we all need to do- that spilt second to think on ” I just cant go there” with the nag….its that simple, and it works.

  11. I agree, it is never fun to feel like a nag, or have the other person NEED you to be a nag. My tip is to acknowledge whats up, like, “Yeah, I know how you must feel, packing is daunting”, so that at least the lines of communication are open and he/she/anyone would feel like they can talk about what is worrying them/stressing them out/ etc. Then you show them you are on their side, and not going to “nah nah nah nah nah” them if they fail.

    Here’s to being a supportiuve partner and not a nagging mommy! clink! 🙂

  12. Wow can I relate. I’m constantly finding myself trying to mother and mold the people in my life. Not out of malicious intent, but because I want to help them. I don’t want people to suffer, I want their lives to be easier… the only problem is, ITS NOT MY JOB! LOL… people resent it for the most part.

    It’s something I’m working on… I’m a work in progress.

  13. […] past weekend was CBG’s “big move”. I managed to stay true to my promise to the both of us, and did NOT nag him these past couple of wee… When I arrived on Friday night and surveyed the situation, I realized that he had not prepared for […]

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