We Either Fix Our Partner or Get Fixed by Them

How we fix or get fixed: an article on offering feedback in relationships

It’s funny how we couple with our partner. Some of us are fixers in the world. If there is a problem, we always in our mind look for solutions to help out. Other times we get our feelings hurt and we are the ones who need their fix-it help.

But these two roles are very delicate in a relationship with two very different people. If you are coupled with someone who is always trying to fix or help or give you suggestions, sometimes this might be great, but other times you might just need something else.

We’re Not Always Ready for Our Partners’ Help

We may not be open to hearing certain types of feedback from our partner, as depicted by this upset woman facing away from her husband.

I know I am a fixer. If I am in a good space and I see my husband ailing or sad I want him to feel better so I naturally look for ways to improve his mood. But when I am sad or unhappy and my feelings are really big, the last thing I want is for someone to make a suggestion on how I could feel better.

You see our feelings sometimes have a life of their own. They are the motivators of what happens to us in our lives. Sometimes I even refer to our feelings as the drivers. But most of us have grown up not really understanding what we feel and instead relying on our minds to help us out.

This is often a good source of information, but in reality, the mind mimics the body’s energy, not the other way around. The body feels first and the brain follows.

So, if the feelings are really big, sometimes the brain can’t even catch up. And if your partner is making suggestions about what is wrong with you and how you can improve and you are stuck in your feelings this could feel so crazy to you that you might not even be able to hear it.

Feel Out What Your Partner Needs Before Trying to Help

Feel out what feedback or help your partner is open to by sitting down and listening to them, like this couple holding hands.

Nothing’s wrong with how we are wired. Everything’s right with wanting to help out our mates when something goes wrong, but that is why this is so delicate. We have to know what will be helpful to our partner.

If we just give them what we think they need, it might not land well. We might have to inquire if they think they could be helped with what we might want to give them.

This might seem like extra work, but if you have ever been told in a harsh way that what you are offering is not helpful, then you might realize that taking a little step forward to see if you can be of service with your suggestions could be something good.

Respecting Boundaries is Part of Loving and Honoring Your Partner

Keeping feedback to what your partner is open to can help you feel tender, like the couple pictured connecting.

We all want to help our mates when they suffer. This is the love we share with them, and it is beautiful. But we also want to be helpful, not burden them with something we think they might need. My husband has some physical issues. I have in the past said things that I think he should consider and do etc. These ideas have not landed well.

He has let me know very clearly that it is his body and he will manage it. He is asking me to back off. And even though I want to help, I have learned to honor him in this way. Honor your mate. It is good to have your ideas. Just make sure your loving partner is up for hearing them.

Learn How to Discuss the Feedback You Both Need

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to improve communication in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. You both just might feel more connected, aligned, and loved. Give it a read.

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