"But it's my husband's job to clean up the dog poop and take out the garage!" Is this part of your manual for your partner too?
A "manual," is a list of expectations you have for your most prized relationships.
People don't come with instruction manuals like new T.V.'s. But you probably don't realize you've got a "manual" for just about everyone in your life. Some manuals are pretty hefty. I know I've had a few that were too heavy to lift on my own.
Get to know you manuals well and don't get too attached to them.
It's awesome to realize you've got a set of "manuals," because then you get to choose not to let them weigh you down. This may sound crazy at first, but when you let go of your manual you'll feel empowered!
You'll find you can feel connection and love, even if your partner refuses to pick up the poop!
If you're like most of us you're pretty attached to your manuals. So what I'm suggesting's not easy, but worth the effort. You may think, "But isn't my partner supposed make me happy?" And when he doesn't bring home the right can of tomatoes for that special Uncle Ronnie's Lasagna recipe you've been dying to cook up, in your mind it means, "he doesn't care about you." Because your manual says "if he cared he would be listening and know what the heck can of tomatoes I asked for."
Sound familiar? We all do this sometimes and that's why you need to know what's in your manual. Do you like what's in there? Is it serving you, helping to keep you safe from abusive situations, or is it outdated?
What does your manual say for your partner, your mom, your boss, your best friend, or even for yourself?
It's a bit different if you've got kiddos because they need help in writing their operation manual for chores and that sort of thing.
The problem with all manuals are that they can cause a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering. It's not fun to try and control someone's behavior so that you can feel better. They don't like it, you don't either, and you give away all of your power when you rely on someone else to make you feel a certain way. Feeling love and respect are very different than disappointment and control. Sometimes love and respect means taking a step back from the relationship. Which can be difficult.
Ask away for what you want, but don't expect that you're gonna get it, and know that if you don't it doesn't mean you can't have a great relationship.
I'm all for you asking to get your expectations met. But you gotta know, it might not happen. You always get to decide what is right for you. But you gotta know what to let go off and when to hold on.
You won't budge on the important stuff, and you shouldn't.
Some stuff you won't get rid of because they're fundamentals for a healthy relationship. You're manual probably says, "I won't tolerate abuse," and that's one you won't get rid of. Good on you! Sometimes we are faced with really hard ones that we need to consider carefully, like fidelity, addictions or whether of not to have children.
So I want you to take some time to think about your manuals. Which one is causing you the most angst?
1. Make a list of all of your manual instruction for this person.
2. Consider if there're really any deal breakers for you. Be honest with yourself. Be willing to get professional help if you don't know.
3. If there're aren't any evident deal breakers in your manual consider you don't need um anymore.
4. Look for and focus on all the things you actually do appreciate and love about "your person." Do this selfishly at first for you, because you want to feel love in your life.
I know people who've miserable for years because of dog poop and garbage.
I know people who've broken up over the wrong can of tomato sauce. I also know people who stay in relationships longer than they would've have liked because they try and change someone to fit their manual. These are all sensitive situations.
You don't have to get all of your needs met by someone else to be happy, and you FOR SURE don't need to be a doormat.
But what you do need to know is that your power to feel love and feel good lies within you. And a lot of the time it's in your ability to discern what's actually important to you.
If you're confused about your manual, and you're not sure if what you're expecting OR accepting is ok then jump on a call with me and we'll talk about it.