image from Huffington Post
Have you ever found yourself in a cycle of really wanting to have your partner step up, but no matter how hard you try, he just…. doesn’t?
So many women are caught up expending their energy in this relentless situation. You try to be as conscious and as expressive as you can in your relationship until the point of exhaustion. You really believe you are doing your very best, because you’ve applied the personal development tools and spiritual principles you have learnt about. And still the maddening situation continues. I’ve had a lot of experience finding my way through this in my own personal life (huge apologies to my previous boyfriends!) And now this keeps coming up with my private clients who I mentor for their feminine development. Some of the beliefs and behaviours that many women are in, are supported by some collective ideas commonly found in spiritual circles that quite frankly, are not effective.
Beautiful woman, you are deeply worthy of love. It’s not you who isn’t good enough, it’s just that your approach is off!
What I suggest instead of this same old cycle is something very empowering, yet it can feel elusive to access at first. It involves letting a man be a man and staying in your feminine flow. It means no more pointing things out to him & instead being firm about your own standards. It means shifting your focus from directing his growth to having a clear sense of your own boundaries. It involves letting go of your fixation on his potential and instead developing true self worth inside of your beautiful self. Here are some common statements & responses that come up from mentoring my private clients:
“I really want to work this out with him. I can’t just leave because I know everything is just a reflection of what’s inside me, so I should keep working on this relationship, even though it’s been a constant struggle. If I don’t work this out with him I will just have to go through it all again with a different man and start from scratch” Aaah that old chestnut. New age beliefs applied inappropriately can end up being narcissistic and destructive. Sometimes a situation will call for you to say no with love instead of turning yourself inside-out & diminishing a man’s self confidence. It is possible that the spiritual lesson is learning when and how to say no, to choose differently & not bang your head against a brick wall (of your own creation). It’s not just about choosing to leave a relationship that’s stuck in the same rut, but sometimes it is about knowing when to shift your focus onto your own healing. If doing that leads you to leaving him, it may come back together, and it may not. Divert your fixation on him and bring that same attention to your own emotional development. Sometimes the best way it can work out is to end it. You won’t have to go through it all again with a different man if you truly learn from it – and that doesn’t mean forcing it into something it’s not. Be brave, be true.
“But I worked so hard on him all this time! If I break up with him, he’ll just end up with another woman who benefits from all my hard work that I’ve invested so much energy into.” Thinking this way is NOT a good sign! You aren’t there to mother him, to be his therapist or to coerce him into his growth with the strength of your will. That kind of ‘hard work’ is not exactly something to be proud of.
“I don’t see examples in other people’s relationships of a paradigm where they aren’t constantly going through hell with each other working on their stuff. Do empowered relationships even exist?” Yes. No one is perfect, yet there are couples who are finding their way in a co-empowered paradigm. The foundation of it is total commitment to their own personal healing, healthy emotional boundaries and authentic self worth. Discovering this tends to happen after a period of time of sincere attention on our own emotional development.
“They say ‘behind every successful man is great woman’. Aren’t I supposed to be like an advisor to him? Aren’t I meant to be emotionally articulate in communicating everything I see not working out for us? Isn’t that what a conscious spiritual woman is supposed to do?” NO, even though you’ve invested in a culture that’s told you otherwise. The way to effectively influence a man is much more subtle than many of us women think. Bombarding him with your emotional insights about him in your verbal communication is NOT the empowered womanly way. I know you just want to help, however feminine grace flows from a woman committed to staying in her own beauty. He is inspired to be the man by her side because of who she is and the high standards she has set for her own life. High self worth comes from building sincere self respect, not intellectual demands upon ourselves or another. You don’t need to try and change him, not if you want things to work out well. In his articles, Graham R White says, “Men perceive it as criticism, nagging or lack of recognition of how hard they’re trying. The act of bringing something to his attention, even when you’re doing it to try to help is perceived as an insult or an attack.” “There is no judgment attached to him by your boundaries, only your own sense of self-worth. The higher your standards, the firmer your boundaries and therefor the more pressure it will create for any man who is interested in your company.” “Men grow through pressure, not support.”
“If I stop trying to guide him to be a man with my words and let him find his way, he might never get there. I don’t want to end up alone. It’s not always horrible with him and nobody’s perfect, so I should just accept this situation right?” Many people do resign themselves to an unhealthy situation. You don’t need to be among them. Have faith.
“But I don’t know what it feels like to be cared for by a man in order to invite that level of connection.” It does help to know men who are strong in their masculinity & to see them in relationship with a woman. However it’s not the #1 thing that usually provides the healthy imprint needed for women to make different choices. Consider your own healthy standards and boundaries as like your own internal masculine, the part of you that protects and honours yourself.
“I’ve been working on myself for a really long time. What do you mean focus on my own healing?!” Being committed to your growth = being committed to truly loving yourself more & more. Tearing pieces off yourself is NOT constructive and doesn’t count as genuinely working on yourself. Unless working on yourself means doing the real inner process of emotional development from girl to woman, it’s probably just contributing to your lack of self worth. When working on yourself feels nurturing and makes you feel more radiant, that’s a good indicator you’re on the right track. Deep self care feels loving, beautiful and it actually fills a void inside that stops you NEEDING to GET a man to love you. Truly loving and nurturing ourselves fills the void that no one else can. The real inner development ‘work’ doesn’t feel tedious or tiring, it really doesn’t.
“I understand about self care and I know many things that I could be doing, yet I don’t end up doing them. There’s no real reason why, but it’s just not happening. I don’t know how to get out of this cycle.” When this is going on, it’s a sure sign that you aren’t actually working on yourself in a constructive way. Let all your attention rest on nurturing your own emotional nature with deep self regard, loads of compassion & honest self acceptance. This isn’t easy to do when we feel so depleted from being out of alignment in our thoughts and behaviour. You might need to make some changes to free up your energy.
“Wouldn’t I be a selfish person if I were just focusing on my own growth, happiness & freedom?” It seems that way at first, when we are so far out of connection with our emotional alignment. However when in the rhythm of living with deep attention on filling ourselves up, it simply feels like being responsible, mature and healthy.
What would life be like if you allowed yourself to stay focused on your own inner alignment? What if keeping your attention on doing what brings you joy; what makes you happy, what makes you feel beautiful & satisfied inside, is all that’s required of you?
And what if focusing on being the most joyful, turned-on woman you can be, were among the most valuable things you could contribute to your relationship?
For us as women, our commitment to loving ourselves is what WE must step up to. Applying ourselves to our own deeper emotional development allows us to trust our instincts and know how to relate effectively with our partner, as an effortless extension of our inner alignment & embodied self worth. Have faith. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in men to figure out how to meet you. They ARE out there.
As Graham R White says, “If you’ve done your own work and have worked through your own wounds from childhood and previous relationships, you have no need to give your energy to a man who is working through his. You’ll expect friendships and seek a partner who has completed his work instead of adopting a relationship based on providing mutual therapy to each other. Leave the therapy to the therapists, do your own work and then you’ll attract men who have done their own.” What a relief to hear it from a man that what they need from us is our firm boundaries born from our authentic self worth. They don’t need you to be their mother because they already have one of those. They need women who inspire them into their growth via being high calibre women (not girls who don’t know how to take care of themselves). We think we need to be supportive because that’s what we need as women for our growth. However men need the pressure of our high standards and self respect, to catalyse their interest in being the kind of men who are worthy of being by our side. It’s a beautiful alchemy.
What might happen if your primary focus became your own full feminine potential?
With Love & Respect, Dévashi
For tips on how to transform your relationship & get into your feminine flow
Disclaimer: although I support all sexual preferences & genders, this article is specifically written based on personal experience and real mentoring sessions with women who are in relationships with men.