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I have a big life I find the responsibility of it overwhelming and anxiety provoking My issue is what to do about it Is it my personality or is it that it truly is too much for me and I need to mak changes We have a few houses and some staff I was not brought up this way an I am very private I feel responsible to make it all perfect and cannot seem to let go and enjoy it All the money my husband spends - foreign to me So I feel anxious and then I can't be the best mom and wife I want to be
I would like to assist you with your question.
I can understand the difficulty of having responsibilities that seem foreign and overwhelming to you. Most of us better when we are living and working within our personal comfort zone, rather than being faced with expectations or demands that drain us emotionally, physically, or cognitively.
Let me ask a few more questions so that I can provide the best possible response. Thank you.
You wrote about making things perfect. Do you have a tendency to like everything to be perfect? Could you give me an example or two of this. Would you call yourself a perfectionist?
Anxiety is related to fear. So it would make sense to me that if you are striving for perfection and not sure you are meeting that goal, that you might feel fearful. Does that make sense to you?
I think it would be good to find some ways to better manage your responsibilities so that you can lower your anxiety and enjoy life more.
If your tendency is to have everything perfect, let's talk about how to set more reasonable expectations so that you can feel successful without having to feel anxious and overwhelmed.
I await your response.
Thanks for your reply.
I can hear your desire for a simplier life and more time to be a mom instead of a slave to the business and your husband's desires.
Perfectionism has it's bonuses, but also it's negatives.
When I suggested that your anxiety is tied to fear...did that make sense?
Yes...fear of not succeeding with the life your husband wants.
Yes...fear that your marriage may fall apart.
Yes...fear that you cannot be the mother you want with all these responsibilities.
Have you ever considered marital therapy?
Sitting down with a marriage therapist to look at how you are feeling about your husband and how hard this life is with all these expectations and responsibilities?
What I hear you saying is that all of these expectations have maybe driven a wedge between you and your husband...is that right?
You wrote that he doesn't seem to care that you are having difficulty coping.
His saying...get over it...doesn't seem like a compassionate response.
And..it's not one bit helpful...it doesn't solve anything.
I hear you!!!
So...is he expecting you to manage the staff?
Would he consider hiring a manager and you just supervise that manager?
Yes...I understand your position. You have enough on your plate without all of this management of the castle stuff. But he is NOT listening...and rather keeps piling on more work for you.
Would it work if you went out and hired a manager...would he accept that or blow up?
I see...you have a manager and that manager doesn't fulfill all the tasks and makes mistakes.
Does your husband know this and still expects you to handle all these issues?
What about firing the guy and getting someone new who CAN handle the job?
And you and the kids come where?
What about the couples therapy? Would he go?
Yes...work ethic has changed. It's not like the old days when everyone knew how to work hard and you could trust people to get the job done.
How therapy can help is by having an objective person help the two of you communicate about your life together and how these expectations he is putting on you are too demanding and are putting an unfair burden on you. A couples therapist is trained to help couples better manage expectations and to work together as partners.
That's a complicated thought. First, your view of the world is something that comes from the "map" of life that you learned from your parents, teachers, and other significant people in your life.
Your "map" or "world view" is yours...no one else has the same map. Your husband has his ow "map"...and it sounds like it is quite different than yours.
So...it is quite apparent that your two maps are different and his wants/desires are different than yours.
It doesn't seem like you want his map...and he doesn't want yours.
So...the two of you need to take your maps and come up with a new map...an agreed upon map.
I know I am simplifying things here...
But I think you can follow this logic....right?
Yes...that may be very true.
Have you ever considered individual therapy...to understand how to better manage the expectations that people have put on you and how to have more confidence?
I'm sorry that he is trying to make you the bad guy here. I see it differently.
I see that you are trying to be the best wife and mother that you can, but the expectations on you are too overwhelming.
It is not a character flaw or crazy thinking to say...whoa this is more than I can handle and I want a simple life that allows me to enjoy what is around me rather than working like a fool.
It's likely a little of both.
First...you have perfectionistic tendencies. Striving for perfection in a world that is not perfect can run you down.
There is NO way that you can ensure that everything runs smoothly, on time, and so forth.
It is a matter of setting priorities...for example, what needs to be A (perfect) work, what can be B (very good) work, what can be C (good) work...and so forth. Setting priorities is one healthy strategy for reducing stress and unrealistic expectations.
What is the point of controlling the uncontrollable?
Who says you have any ability to control anything? The only control you really have is over yourself. You cannot control your husband. He is his own person. You can't really control your children...they need independence in order to grow and mature. Yes...you have responsibility to make sure that they are loved, shelter, educated and so forth. But they deserve to be taught how to be their own person.
Do you see my point here?
NO...it's not weird.
You are under your husband's thumb...he is off building his world and has left you to manage. Wow! That's a lot of pressure.
And likely he wants things done well, done on time, and, as you said, he doesn't want to hear complaints. Sounds like a whole lot of control going on.
Bingo. You hit the nail on the head.
His inability to handle any disappointment or "flaw"...is about his own insecurity. And insecurity that he covers up by being a workaholic, by building an ever bigger empire, and by putting unreasonable demands on you.
Yes...I'm sorry. And the only reason you did it was for him...not for you. You let him control your body image and that got you in trouble.
Do you see that?
And do you see how his lack of confidence is what is pushing him to build, build, build.
I'm sorry. That was not a kind way for him to describe his work.
Yes...that mommy belly was a metaphor...it was a way to identify yourself to the world...and more importantly to yourself.
Have you thought about talking to the doctor about this? How troubled you have been since the operation and how unkind his words were?
You have the right to do that.
This incident would be a good one to talk to a therapist about...it really says alot about you and about how you view yourself.
I agree...not something you needed to know and was more about his own issues not yours.
Have you thought about other things that signal that you are a mom?
Maybe you wear a mother's ring...or have a locket with pictures of your children...
There are other ways to make your motherhood known.
NO...it doesn't say you are self-destructive. It says that you are loyal. It says that you give in when intimidated. It says you don't like conflict.
It's not about self-destruction.
That sounds just fine.
Until then...take care.
I'm very sorry you feel that way.
I do think that individual therapy would be one way to address this and to work through the emotional pain.
Obviously you are very, very hurt and very sad.
You likely feel some resentment to your husband as well.
Yes. Very normal.
You did something to please your husband and you gave away your own personal power. Now you regret that decision and you are very angry and upset.
I do think there is a way to think about this differently and to learn from it.
I encourage you to think about all the ways that you are a mother...
How you devote yourself to your children.
How you love and care for them.
Think about the "map" you are creating for them.
Being a mother is more than birthing...it is a life long commitment to loving.
Think about that...about the loving attention, care and concern you pour into your children every day.
If you would have known the consequences of that action you never would have done it.
So...you did the best you could with the information and knowledge you had at the time.
It would be helpful to forgive yourself...that's where you are stuck I think. You feel to blame for this terrible decision.
What I hope you can come to see is as I wrote..you made the best decision that you could at that time. Today you would make an entirely different decision. But that is hindsight.
Please consider forgiveness.
No...you did not ruin things. You may have made an unfortunate decision. But it does not change how you feel about your children or how they feel about you.
Your children do not need proof of your motherly love by looking at your belly. They have that proof from the love you offer them every day.
Yes...please take some time to process what we have chatted about today.
Then - when you are ready - recontact me.