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making plans for the weekend, talking about future events, meeting family, vacations, etc. Things could be moving along perfectly and all of a sudden things come to a CRAWL, or to an abrupt halt.
This can cause anxiety to take over, sending our emotions into OVERDRIVE. We start wanting to have “the talk” and express all of our PAINFUL feelings and ask him to share his as well.
Or maybe we start WORKING HARD to PROVE to him what a catch we are.
If you are feeling anxious, panicked, or stressed because you have been told or can FEEL him pulling away, I can understand because I have been there too! However, this is a critical time as what we want to do, and what we need to do are completely counterintuitive!
I used to completely go into OVERDRIVE and take over. I would pick the ball up exactly where he dropped it and take it all on myself! Things would get SO much worse, but I never put together that my OVERFUNCTIONING was the reason for it! I was angry that I was doing so much, and he was resentful as I became “the guy” in the relationship.
What I learned was that men need the space to work it out. There is nothing we can say or do to motivate him to move things forward. In fact, when we try to start controlling things we are only making it worse. He becomes less motivated to DO anything in that area all together.
When a man stops moving the relationship forward, or seems to be pulling back, the tendency for us is to go into this OVERFUNCTIONING mode. Our logic and intuition tell us that if we DO all these THINGS then he will see how amazing we are and he must be with such an amazing woman who does all of these things. What in fact often happens is that WE start working SO hard, that he just stops initiating completely, leaving us doing all of the work to keep it going.
What we want to do when this happens is to LEAN back. This looks like completely redirecting the focus to ourselves. We do all the things we love and practice good self-care. We let him MOVE the relationship forward.
Imagine you and your man in a boat. You are in the middle of the lake and want to get back to shore. Who is doing the work to get you there? If you are the one figuring out and working to get to shore, then you are in OVERDRIVE. You probably feel some negative emotions too, like anger and resentment.
Now…Imagine just STOPPING. Instead you are sitting back in the boat, and enjoying the beautiful day. The sun is shining and you are just going to TRUST that you are somehow going to get back to the shore. Your only concern is to enjoy your time in the boat, on the lake. That’s it.
If things are not moving forward, then imagine the boat. Have some ideas of what you can immediately turn to for your own happiness. It may be a walk outside, a yoga class, your favorite coffee shop. If you make the common mistake of going into overdrive, he will not be inspired to step up and do anything.
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