“It can’t be a great marriage without being a great partnership.” Helen Mirren
In coaching, recognizing yourself in others is something called, ‘You spot it, you got it.’ The idea is that you wouldn’t truly be able to see and understand a client’s experience as deeply as you do unless you have an element of that in yourself as well.
And boy do I understand this one…
The Type A personality is defined as someone who is highly organized, ambitious, impatient, and may be competitive and/or aggressive in their approach to getting things done.
Sometimes, as women we can accomplish a lot. We can run a business or have a busy career. We can make sure the kids’ favorite snacks are stocked and their homework gets done. We can arrange for the plumber to come fix the leaky pipe and make sure we get our workout in for the day. We make sure the birthday parties get planned and dinners get made. We can run from one thing to the next, but there’s never really a time where the to-do list feels fully under control.
I’m sure there are women out there that make all that doing look effortless; I just don’t know any of them personally.
For the rest of us Type A, get-it-done women, it tends to look more like a tornado that’s spinning a bit out of control most days.
If this is resonating with you, well….If you spot it, you got it.
Imagine You are Your Partner
Now imagine you are your partner who is standing there watching the tornado in action….seeing it spinning around and around and around in a flurry of activity.
You know you should jump into that tornado and try to help or make it better somehow, but you don’t even know where to enter into the tornado. There’s no door to come through, no on-ramp, no easy way to step into the madness. And frankly, it looks a little frightening in there…at the center of the tornado.
So you stand there confused, watching it, not knowing how or if you even want to enter into the eye of the storm. And it occurs to you, Maybe it’s just better for me to stay out here…where it seems a little safer.
Our Superpower can also be Our Kryptonite
Sometimes as a Type A woman, our greatest asset – our ability to get-s*#t-done – is also our greatest liability in an intimate relationship. All that doing doesn’t leave space for our partners to be, well…..partners to us. But then, we feel like we’re all alone and begin to resent our partners for having to carry the weight of the career, the house, the home, the kids, etc on our shoulders.
But what if that was never all ours to carry?
What if we willingly picked it all up and then expected our partners to keep up with us at our pace, in our precise way, in our timing?
And what if we intentionally decided to do it differently?
I used to be that woman. I promise you…I remember her. And I used to wear my ability to get-s*#t-done almost as a badge of honor. In my first marriage almost ten years ago, I brought all my get-s*#t-done energy from my career (I clearly wasn’t a life coach then), into my home and into my marriage.
He could never do enough…
He could rarely do it the way I would have done it or at the pace I would have preferred…
And I cannot speak for my ex-husband, but there had to be days he felt like he was being spoken to more as an employee (or even a child), than as an equal, loved, appreciated partner.
…Now you know one of the reasons why we’re no longer together.
If you can identify with any of this, you can choose to do it differently so that the tornado doesn’t destroy you, your partner, and the marriage in the storm.
Yes, we live in busy times.
Yes, there never seems to be enough time.
But what good is a checked-off to-do list when you curl up at night feeling all alone?