Many of us in this world are fixers. When someone has a problem, we just imagine all the ways the problem can be solved. This is really the way some of us are wired. Nothing wrong with this. The world needs fixers.
But when we are in a relationship and we see what our partner could do better and we use our fixing skills to help them, well it might not go so well.
We Often Suggest How Our Partner Can Improve
All of us get pretty comfortable with how we do things. If we partner with someone who is always wishing we were doing things differently, this might just rub us the wrong way.
I know this because this is what I did to my husband to be. When I met him, I thought of how smart and capable he was and what he could do with all his talent. I was often talking about what he could do differently and how he could accomplish more.
Perceived Criticism Can Leave Us Feeling Unloved
This is just the way I was wired. But I loved my guy. I also wanted to move the relationship along to marriage. So, one time I asked him about our future. And he said, “You are always trying to fix me or get me to do something different. It doesn’t feel like you love me for who I am.”
When he said that it felt like a punch to the gut. Wow, he didn’t know I loved him with all my heart. He couldn’t feel that love because he got the impression, I wasn’t happy with who he was. And that was the farthest from the truth.
I realized on the spot I had to stop trying to get him to be something more than he was. And that is what began my journey into acceptance.
Acceptance is the opposite of fixing someone. And acceptance is the antidote as well. I know it is very hard not to make suggestions when we think they can help. But if it harms our mate, it is not helpful. In fact, it becomes hurtful.
Share Your Communication Needs with One Another
I have learned that I still have suggestions for my partner. But I ask first if he wants to hear what I think about the situation. I am respectful because sometimes he doesn’t want my thoughts. He is comfortable with his own. And sometimes he does want them.
This doesn’t mean we don’t communicate; it just means that I want him to feel that he is completely loved in our relationship. If I have to withhold some of the thoughts or ideas I have for him, so be it.
I accept him for who he is, not for who I want him to be. See if you fall into the trap of fixing your mate. Maybe you could ask them if they appreciate your suggestions. Every couple is different. Who knows, maybe they might even like it.