“I can do it all by myself.” Even though we may not explicitly say this, our actions often mirror the same words that we hear come forth out of the mouth of our beloved toddlers. In an article by Omaha the concept of women treating their relationships like work is discussed. Whether we have a spouse or are single, for many of us we have worked very hard to get to wherever we are in the corporate world and/or with regards to our career. We’ve put in time in school and in the workforce while caring for our children and families. We’ve sometimes struggled with balancing school meetings and events, sick little ones, and work deadlines all while working to show our commitment to our career, still upholding our commitment to our families.
For those of us who are or were single parents in time we found our groove despite the fact that we weren’t always afforded the opportunity to have someone we could lean on, someone to carry at least some of the load we carried. So, we learned to do things by ourselves, or with as little help as necessary. For some, help was a luxury, and the ability to meet the demands of being a parent while having a career was necessary.
So what happens when you meet someone? How do you shift from doing things all by yourself to sharing the load when you’ve been the CEO of your own family unit for so long? How do you ask for help when you are so used to doing things on your own and your way? And, how do you show the person you love that you “need” them when you have positioned yourself to be in a situation in which you wouldn’t really need anyone (or so you thought) ? After all, our spouses want to feel needed.
Then there is the notion of treating your spouse like an employee. For those of us who have somehow managed to blur the lines between work and our personal life to some extent, it is possible that our loved ones are being treated more like an employee than our partner. As noted in the article, according to John Gray, “In the workplace, to be successful, women have to be independent, self-reliant, focused on solving problems and managing people. Outside the office, those attributes are romance killers.” This is said to be a challenge for women who are married as well.
As a formerly single parent learning to lean on my husband and work as his partner has been a challenge at times. For a long time I tried to do everything on my own because that is what I was used to. Also, I liked the way I did things. And I will be honest and admit that I felt the way I did it was better or the best way. And, even if asking for help would make things easier I failed to do it. Even after having a baby six months ago I found myself slipping into my old habits of doing things “all by myself.” The end result – I was exhausted, irritable, and annoyed.
So ladies, what causes our inner toddler to emerge in adulthood? Why do we insist on doing so many things by ourselves (does it matter if our way is the best way as long as things are handled?) and do you think our careers have anything to do with it? Read more about romance and treating it like work on Omaha.com.
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