He's not your Project

Lemme guess. You've been playing "Little “Miss Fix-it” for your man, but somehow the relationship is still broken.

I've have so been there, girl. I should write a blog about.

Oh wait. Here we are. So, here's how it presented itself in my life. My second husband would come home from work every night and b*tch. It was the same story on repeat. He b*tched constantly about his job, saying all he wanted in the world was to get the hell out of there and start his own electrical business. He was sick of that company raping him on his paycheck, taking all of his time, and he just couldn’t stand the bureaucracy. Something awful happened to him there literally every day, and he made sure I heard about it. It colored his mood for hours on end. Once he got into this energy, he couldn’t get out of it. He lived in misery a lot of the time. And as you know, misery loves company, and I was right there with him, pounding my first in the air and agreeing ad nauseam that yes, he was a victim of injustice and "down with the authority figures.” It became emotionally exhausting for me. I really wanted to help him. I saw how hurt he was about this, I thought, “okay, let’s make this go away for him.” So I designed a logo for his company and ordered business cards, T-shirts and pens. Then I began passing out the pens everywhere I went. Instead of gratitude from him, for me doing this, all I was met with was disdain. I couldn’t understand why. “Maybe he's nervous to step out on his own."

"Maybe he just needs more encouragement,” I would think. So, then I started referring a ton of my family’s plumbing business clients to his new electrical company. My brother even offered him one of our old work vans to have for free. He turned his nose up to it and acted annoyed. I was so confused. I kept trying to fix his problems, take the thorn out of his paw. I thought that’s what you did when you love someone, you try to help them. Five years later we are divorced and he still works for that old company he said he despised. Why? Because he never believed in himself about having his own business, and you know what? No amount of me believing in him or helping him along would ever have made a difference. All it did was make him feel worse about himself.

And looking back, he lived in misery by choice. He LIKED having something about which to complain. He CRAVED the negative attention that comes from resistance. He has his own issues that my love for him could never "fix."

Like I always say, "You can't give someone self-love. They have to do it for themselves." But back in those days, I was far into my masculine energy. Strategizing, enacting, and inserting myself into solving his problems. Just think about the significance of the word “inserting,” and you can see how far gone I was. Truth is, all he wanted me to do was listen to him b*tch, nod and say, “I’m sorry that happened. I just know you’ll figure it out.” But I couldn’t do that. I just had to swoop in and play Little Miss Fix it. I realize I did this because of my own anxious attachment wounds around the masculine. I over-gave as a desperate attempt to guarantee I would be loved back. Notice how it backfired? I lived in fear of being betrayed like I was by my first husband and being ignored or dismissed like I’d been by my dad. So I went above and beyond trying to make it all better for him. And every time, I over-extended my support, it blew up in my face. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy. Well, I can happily say that I’m done with that sh*t, now. I’m not saying, if a man asks for help, you should just stand there and flip him off. I’m just saying, my husband never asked me for help, I just did it, and that emasculated him. Do you do this? Are you always tap-dancing around him, going out of your way to show him you care. Because he doesn’t want you doing that. Evolutionarily, biologically, psychologically he desires to protect and provide for you. He can’t do that if you see him as someone who can’t solve his own problems. So put down your power tools, girl. He’s not an Ikea table. He’s a grown ass man who needs to do it himself. Resist the temptation to prove your worth by giving, and instead create the space for him to give to you.

I know, it sounds selfish when I type that out. But that's how it works. Just your existence, your essence, your femininity, your perfume, your smile, your warmth, your hugs and kisses, your listening. That's all you have to give him. You are enough.

You don't have to pay off his student loans. You don't have to cover the tip on a date. You don't have to solve what's for dinner every night. Let him do it. Even if he sucks at it. Don't judge him, don't pressure him about why it isn't done yet.

Do what I tell my 3 year old to do when she starts talking about other kids, "You just worry about you." No one else is your concern.

He's on his own journey and you hijacking it takes his power away from him. Empower him by letting him sit in the discomfort of his own problems and you just stand there and support him with your presence, not by taking action. Repeat after me: Feminine Energy is being, not doing. Now I work on my OWN business as hard as I did on his, and I appreciate everything I do for myself. This is one of the definitions of self-love. Not playing co-dependent to anyone and staying in your own lane, nurturing your passions and desires.

The more time you spend working on him, the less time you spend on repairing, reinforcing, and regenerating you. And you are your most important project.

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