So the other day I was cruising through the Cosmopolitan website when I came across an article on The #1 Good Girlfriend Habit to Break. After reading a bit through the article it almost felt like it had been written specifically for me. The Article was about being too supportive of your partner, more specifically a girl being too supportive of her man. The article forced me to reflect on how my past relationships had ended; I was doing all the supporting. Anytime a guy I was seeing with was in a rut of some sort, job stress, family stress, living situation, I’d always be the only to provide support (not financial support). As much as I care for the person I’m with and hate to see them stressed out, I learned that sometimes being too supportive only pushes them away further. Something I’m Familiar with.
Anytime a girlfriend is in a crisis (or what we deem as a crisis situation) we’re always at their side, sharing a bucket of ice cream and watching movies that make us cry to make us feel better, or maybe having a couple of bottles of wine and just talking out the problem. Little did I, or do I, (given past experiences), know that men don’t operate on the same level as us women do. We surround ourselves with others to bitch and complain about whatever, where most men have a tendency to hide away to deal with their problems. The more support we as women offer only forces them away, and fast. Best way to handle this is give them their space, if they care to share with you what the problem is then let them come to you. Digging for information just makes them feel weak and on the defense. We as women don’t usually mean to aggravate or annoy our partners by prying for information we simply wish to take their problems away, so they feel better.
Ever stop and notice how you feel when they don’t share information with you? You almost feel hurt, upset, or stressed? Great so now there are two stress cases and a relationship heading down the drain. The more support you provide for the one you care about creates resentment, that the last thing you want to add to the list. By this point whats done is done, your beds been made, throw in the towel and walk away, resentment doesn’t disappear it only grows stronger, so even if you force it out, any future argument will be worse than it could have been, and more resentment builds.
The best support you can provide is invisible support, help by cooking his favorite meal, depending on the severity of your relationship do a chore or task like his laundry or little things around the place that will cause him to worry and stress less about his surroundings in his life. Don’t question him on how things are going, he’ll tell you when he’s ready. Of course he may have also already checked out of the relationship, if so, you should too.
As hard as it is to take a step back and realize where we, as the boyfriend, or girlfriend went wrong, sometimes what we learn about ourselves allows us to be a better partner to who’s next. Often times when someone asks “who ended it” or “why didn’t work out”, and you blame your ex partner, by saying “he/she is crazy! I had to end it” is us trying to hide our insecurities.We need to own up to our mistakes – we all make them, we just hate admitting it to our friends or family for fear of judgement, it’s better to have them on your side and teaming up against your ex right? Although it feels liberating to tell your bff that your ex is a loser and you’re free, did you ever stop to analyze what you did wrong for it to end that way? Granted sometimes people are crazy, or you aren’t compatible, but it’s not necessary to refer to them as crazy or a loser. I’ll be the first to admit that none of my ex’s are crazy or losers, we just didn’t jive anymore and parted ways.
This past year has been a great learning experience for me, and when I decide to open up to the next person, maybe I’ll think back to the article, or maybe I’ll just pick someone who can handle me. 😉
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