As if you were a child? Or not worthy of consideration and respect?.
Maybe it’s because they tend to make decisions for the both of you, without asking for your input.
Like when he or she RSVPs to parties and social events assuming you’re interested, too, or even available. And if you’re not, well, YOU are the one that has to explain to friends or acquaintances why you’re suddenly backing out or flaking out.
Or when they decide to charge $500 on the credit card without discussing whether or not it fits in your monthly budget, or if there’s something you need to pay for this month that takes priority.
Maybe you also feel disrespected by your partner because they act as if THEIR job is more important than YOUR job.
You’re the one who always takes time off to care for your kids when they get sick, and your partner never even offers.
And when you need to schedule a repair or delivery? They assume you’ll take time off work to meet the vendor.
These are just a few of the various reasons why you may feel discounted by your partner.
This leads to frequent bickering and arguments. But instead of acknowledging your needs and feelings, they accuse you of being “controlling”.
They say they don’t want to have to ask your permission to do things or spend money. “As if I’m a child,” they scoff.
But you’re the one who feels controlled and dismissed, like a child.
What’s really going on here?
Why is your partner acting as if he or she was single? Why are they so clueless and inconsiderate?
There could be many reasons your partner is making these types of unilateral decisions?
He or she assumed you’d agree with their decision. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. Instead of making these sweeping assumptions, you wish they’d check in with you first.
Maybe they were single for so long before committing to you, that they’re simply not used to having to “check in” with anyone.
Or they think they’re “protecting” you from bad news or problems they think they can handle themselves.
Or maybe they do things like have affairs or spend money because they think they “deserve” it.
But whatever your partner’s personal reason is, one thing is for sure:
When your partner makes a decision that impacts you but doesn’t consult you, it sends a disconcerting message about your partner’s commitment and concern— not to mention your importance.
When your best interest is given no regard, when your opinion seems to be ignored, it is difficult not to feel disrespected, discounted, and insignificant—not to mention hurt, disappointed, and angry.
If the practice continues, it can easily build resentment and start to erode the trust and connection between you.
It can lead to a crisis, contempt, and ultimately, even divorce.
Therefore, this isn’t something you should necessarily brush off, or be resigned about.
It is something you need to address and resolve.
It will only add to the bad feelings you already have.
Asking your partner to stop doing it won’t work in the long run.
Telling your partner they’re being rude, inconsiderate won’t help, either. They’ll probably just get defensive.
Why don’t any of these things work?
Because what you think is the problem (spending money, saying yes to things for both of you, discounting the importance of your job, etc.) is not really the problem.
And also because—
What you and your partner don’t know, because there’s no reason you would know, is that what you’re experiencing as your problems are mere symptoms of a much bigger, underlying issue.
This underlying issue represents a specific relationship system that’s broken.
The system is how you and your partner behave, how you organize your relationship, and the underlying assumptions you make about how that relationship should function.
And there’s a flaw in that system.
Unless you fix the system, you’ll never fix the symptoms.
The symptoms may be:
So, in effect, your partner may apologize for not checking with you first, and agree to ask you first the next time he or she schedules a social event…
Next week, your partner will withhold sex because they’re upset with you.
The week after that, they’ll go out and buy a new car and you won’t know about it until it’s parked in your driveway.
A month later, they’ll announce they don’t want to have Thanksgiving at your mother’s and will be making plans with friends instead.
Since you’ve never addressed the underlying system, the symptoms keep manifesting.
You get more resentful. The arguments get nastier and louder.
This is why you need to step back and examine what’s really going on, why you keep being disrespected and ignored, and what to do about it.
And that’s where I can help.
I spent my 40+ year career as a clinical practitioner in marriage and family therapy helping couples identify the hidden forces behind their recurring problems and conflicts, such as when one partner acts selfishly and makes unilateral decisions.
That’s when couples realize that instead of going around in circles trying to solve these “symptoms,” all they need to do is address the relationship system to effectively solve this issue.
And it isn’t just about selfishness and inconsiderate behavior. When couples learn what’s really behind such conflicts as not getting enough help with household chores, feeling bored or dissatisfied in the relationship, or intense, dramatic fighting, they experience a huge “AHA.”
They finally see WHY what they’ve been doing to solve their problem hasn’t worked.
But if you can’t see what’s really wrong, it’s nearly impossible to know what to do to fix it.
That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost all couples can benefit from these insights and tips.
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A marriage can’t ever work if one person is only thinking about what they want, and never about the other partner’s feelings, needs or opinions.
The advice contained in the articles I’ve written for Flourish will help you uncover the hidden issues that are creating this dysfunctional dynamic in your relationship, and will show you the fastest, most effective way to resolve it at last.
May you have an extraordinary day,