How To Stop Being A Smothering Spouse
Smothering someone in a marriage relationship is detrimental to the marriage. Planting a flower in a shady, dry ground stifles its growth. Eventually the flower will die if it cannot freely receive sunlight and water. Stifling your spouse’s growth by smothering them can cause them to run in the other direction. Every marriage requires a balance between togetherness and freedom to be yourself.
5 SIGNS THAT YOU MAY BE A SMOTHERING SPOUSE
- You need to talk to them every day, every hour that they are not around you.
Constant phone calls and text messages all day long might be sweet the first week of your marriage. After that, it is just downright annoying. At some point, they will be forced to avoid your phone calls and stop answering your texts so they can get their daily work done. You are setting your relationship up for failure.
- You are jealous of his or her friends.
A lot of people who are extremely jealous partners get that way because they don't feel secure in their relationship or have underlying self-esteem issues to make them act that way. When you get very jealous and try to "wedge" yourself between your partner and their friends, you're going to end up smothering the relationship to death.
- You feel the needs to control your partner’s life
The need for controlling a partner in a relationship doesn't come from a place of love; it comes from a place of anxiety. It's a sign that you're anxious that your partner will leave, cheat, or otherwise hurt you. Controlling them will lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- You need to know every little detail of where your partner has been, who they’re with, or what they’re up to?
Pumping your spouse for answers to every little detail of their day is not sweet or loving. It is a sign that you do not trust your partner. Has your partner cheated on you or given you a reason to distrust them? If not, your incessant questioning will likely drive them away from the relationship.
- You Feel Your Partner is Your Life
Expecting your partner to be your everything only puts a lot of pressure on them and ends up making you feel crazy. It's not an attractive quality. You're not contributing anything to the relationship because you do not have any outside interests or friends of your own. You're smothering your partner through your expectations.
If any of these signs sound familiar, you are smothering your partner. When someone feels smothered, they do not enjoy being around the person smothering them. They aren’t happy in the relationship and will start getting irritable with you and seeking ways to avoid you. Eventually, they will seek a way out of the relationship.
The best chance you have of saving your marriage is to stop smothering your spouse.
Have an open an honest conversation with your spouse and admit that your behavior has been smothering.
Find a convenient time to talk with your spouse when you won’t be interrupted and ask if you may speak with them about your behavior. Come clean about your behavior. Don’t give excuses or reasons to try to justify your behavior, just admit that you know you have been smothering them with different actions.
Apologize and ask for forgiveness.
When you wrong your spouse, you need to own up to it. Apologize for treating your spouse that way and ask if they can forgive you. They may not be able to forgive you right away, but you need to ask them for forgiveness to let them know you regret your behavior. Reassure them that you love them and want your marriage to work.
Work out a plan together to put a stop to your smothering behavior.
Tell your spouse that you want to stop your smothering behavior and will need their help to do it. Ask them what things make them feel smothered. It may be hard to hear, but you need to know what specific things make them feel smothered so that you can focus on ways to stop those behaviors. Ask for their understanding and patience while you trying to work on your behavior.
Brainstorm things you can do to help stop your smothering behavior.
- Have Your Partner Set Clear Boundaries.
Ask your partner to make clear the amount of time alone they need to do things with friends, work out, or just do your own thing. Make it a very specific amount so that you have a clear expectation of when you will see each other again.
- Redirect your attention to things you are passionate about.
Look for classes at a local community center or college that you can join to develop an interest in something outside of your relationship. It will help you meet new people and find something you can devote your time to.
- Schedule Date Nights.
Regular date nights introduce healthy couples time into your marriage. Use the time to go out to dinner, go see a play, go do things together. Talk about things that drew you together and try to rekindle the initial attraction.
Learn More About easy marriage therapy exercises you can do together.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises