If you are anything like a large number of women, your guy is the center of your universe. Your thoughts revolve around him, your day punctuated by his smiles and your worth determined by how satisfied he is with all that you do to make him happy. You pour love into the relationship hoping that every ounce you give will come back to you as appreciation. And because your love fuels him, he shines like the sun. Even when his plans supersede yours, his work is deemed more important, and his words hold more weight, at the end of the day you don't mind because after all – you love him. Is it possible to love someone too much?
Many women equate loving a man with perpetual giving, submitting and acquiescing. A woman seems to have an endless supply of love to give to others, but little to give to herself. She tends to submit thinking her role is to support rather than to direct and will acquiesce her power in the relationship to help her man feel more powerful and remain dominant. A woman's identity is dependent on proving her love, while a man's identity is more defined by how well he provides. A woman feels fulfilled when she is doing everything she can to make her man happy. She seldom realizes how little she gets in return.
The following signs will hopefully give you at bit of insight into behaviors that suggest you love your guy a bit too much:
Standing On Your Head To Make Him Happy
If your man is grumbling, seems distant, and uncommunicative it's not necessarily your cue to jump up and start catering to his needs. Fluffing his pillow or spending hours in the kitchen fixing his favorite meal won't cure his woes. It will only exhaust you. Yes, he's everything to you. But doing "everything" for him assumes he is a cripple and is demeaning. If you continue on this vein, your man will likely see you as a dotting mother type rather than the "goddess of love" you wish to be. Women often feel overly responsible for their men's wounds and moods, thinking that they in someway caused them. In their eyes, they must have done something wrong to cause him to slip into silence. A woman, therefore, sees it as her duty to nurture him into a mood change. In this case a woman's love is tainted by her shame.
Looking Up to Him and Looking Down on Yourself
Many women put men on a pedestal because of a collective legacy of feminine degradation. After all, the sun shines brightest and the moon only glows because of the sun. For centuries, women have been trained and conditioned to believe a man's intelligence is superior. This conditioned belief is difficult to shake even for the most liberated and accomplished woman. If you are the type to put your guy on a high mountain, thinking he is more intelligent, capable and ultimately more important, all that admiration will make you look pathetic. Your adoration will likely only fuel an already too big ego and does little to elevate your self-worth.
Abandoning Your Friends to Spend Every Waking Minute with Him
The worst thing a woman can do is to deny herself time with her friends, thinking her partner will miss her, can't fend for himself, or that she will meet with disapproval if she spends too much time away from him. If you are the type to only contact friends when your mate isn't home or hang up the phone abruptly when he comes through the door, your friends are probably annoyed by your rude behavior. A woman's friendships outside of her relationship feed and reward her. And in times when things aren't running smoothly in her relationship, good friends offer support and advice.
Your Goals Don't Matter As Much as His
Abandoning your goals whether a career choice, an educational opportunity or a spiritual journey because you believe your partner's goals will serve you more in the end, will derail your hopes for personal fulfillment. Maybe the reason why you sacrifice your goals to encourage his is because you believe he deserves success more than you or because deep inside you don't believe in yourself. If you put your personal goals on the backburner too long, your dreams will simmer away.
Kissing Up Too Often
Contrary to your belief, kissing up to your man won't tame the beast in him. He will only lose respect for you and complain even more. It is not uncommon for a woman to side with her mate even if she knows he's wrong, support poor decisions or refrain from giving advice thinking she is proving her love and faith in him by keeping silent. If you find yourself the one to always say you are sorry first, taking the brunt of the blame for all arguments, you will lose self-respect. Sure, you may believe it is easier just to let him think he's won, but he has lost something valuable too – his respect for you.
Submitting to Sex
Love and sex are simpatico in a woman's mind. But thinking a man has love on his mind when he pushing or coercing her to have sex when she isn't the least bit in the mood is not "lovemaking". Letting a man have his way with you doesn't honor the sacredness of true intimacy. You will likely feel used and even abused if after countless times of saying "no" you ultimately submit. Sex is an expression of love, not a duty.
He Gets Everything, You Get Nothing
OK, he's got every power tool that Black & Decker makes, a basement full of music equipment he doesn't play and just brought home a new Harley-Davidson saying it will save on gas. And you? You pick out clothing donated to the thrift store and buy it with the change you had to dig out of the bottom of your purse. To make matters worse you just can't help bringing him home "a little something" from time to time. Women who are in the practice of indulging their mates while denying themselves feel undeserving. They appear vicariously gratified just knowing their mate has it all. Just seeing him happy is enough for her.
Dismantling Your Boundaries
Some women let their mates push them into agreeing to do things they know will prove disastrous. Inviting his best friend to camp out in your living room for a month because he was thrown out of his home for being a slob or bringing home two stray dogs to be your companions while he's away all day, should push you to set some limits. But you just don't have the heart to tell him you don't appreciate the thought and extra work. No, you don't want him to think you are an ogre. But if you constantly dismantle your boundaries to accommodate your partner's soft heart, your own heart will be filled with resentment.
Loving someone means you respect him enough to set boundaries, expect that he treat you with respect and gives to you in as many meaningful ways as you give to him. A woman may have to fight her own tendencies to submit and sacrifice in the name of love. If it's love that she is after, then she will have to love herself enough to ask for what she needs and stop giving endlessly thinking it wins her a place in his heart.
|by Ariadne Green
Ariadne Green, MS, is a dream and soulmate expert and author of Divine Complement: The Spiritual Terrain of Soulmate Relationships. http://www.ariadnegreen.com.
Published: August 5, 2010