By Rori Raye
The first four years of my now glorious
18-year marriage followed the same, not glorious, hugely
painful pattern all my other relationships had.
All the passion turned to tension and all
the fun turned to bickering and then he withdrew.
He went cold and got angry.
Suddenly, I realized I didn’t feel
all that warmly towards him either.
He thought I was being controlling, and
I thought he wasn’t cutting it.
We were both right.
Overfunctioning is doing too much.
It's doing more than your share, stepping
in to help, stepping up to rescue.
It's offering before being asked, giving
instead of giving back.
It's trying to manage your life and get
things done by playing all the parts in the relationship
-- both your part and his.
Overfunctioning is a deeply unsatisfying
Trying to play your man's part in the relationship
as well as yours (like I did) creates tension and conflict
-- and even if you could succeed at it, you wouldn’t
like the results.
If you turn your man into a puppet you can
manipulate, you’re not going to like him very much.
You’ll have clean dishes and no garbage,
and a Saturday night date at the restaurant and movie
of your choice, but look -- your man will be a puppet!
Not much fun there.
So -- do you deserve a red-blooded, real,
strong minded, secure, responsible, respectable, thoughtful,
and caring man?
Or do you only deserve a shadow of yourself?
Can you allow yourself to be loved by a
man who can really love?
Or can you only sign up with a man who makes
it one-third the way to you and then expects you to pick
up the slack?
By always picking up the slack -- and I
know it always seems like what needs doing is urgent and
important -- what you get by doing it all yourself is
mostly your own feeling of resentment.
You don’t get the appreciation we
all crave -- you get coldness, anger, and withdrawal.
It seems so unfair to put ourselves out,
to be helpful, and then get what feels like a slap in
And yet, what we’re really getting
is the safe place (unpleasant as it is) of avoiding finding
out what our men are really made of.
By always cutting to the chase and doing
everything ourselves –- or directing how it’s
done –- we put up a wall between ourselves and our
men that keeps us from getting what we all say we really
want: The Big Ticket Items –- Love, Affection, Romance,
Trust, Harmony, Peace, the ability to Negotiate anything.
(And I mean anything.)
By always stepping in, we guarantee that
our lives with our men will always be about the small
stuff –- the nuts and bolts of life, and not the
deep, soul-satisfying stuff that we come together in relationships
and marriage to get. If what we want is soul connection,
we have to stop Overfunctioning.
Since childhood, we've been labeled, taught,
tricked, bribed and prodded, been threatened by all forms
of authority, told what's true and what isn't, and disrespected
for everything from our feelings to our thoughts.
Our relationships have been more about pleasing
others than pleasing ourselves.
More about struggling and using our wits
to get what we need and what we think we want than discovering
what it is we really want.
Many of us don’t even really believe
we deserve a great relationship.
Well, we do.
We all do.
And we don’t need to do anything to
We just deserve it.
No earning required.
If we can stop doing so much and stop resenting
doing so much, our relationship will get better instead
of falling apart.
What if you really didn’t have to
watch how things are going, didn’t have to ask for
everything you want, stopped overseeing the doing of things
that are important to you even though you’ve already
agreed that it’s his job, and could just relax and
It’s a little scary.
Each of us has learned ways to keep pain
And those things we do and say that help
keep pain away also shut out love.
As soon as we stop doing those things, and
love comes in, sometimes we begin to feel things we’ve
been avoiding feeling for a very long time.
For some of us, feeling loved is mixed up
with feeling pain. We feel scared to be vulnerable.
Sometimes it takes a while to begin to trust
ourselves and our boundaries enough to really allow ourselves
to be vulnerable –- and enjoy both being vulnerable
and experiencing the miraculous effect our vulnerability
has on our men.
So take it slow.
Baby steps is the way to go.
Make a list of all the things you do in
the household, on a date, and in a relationship, and pick
three things that seem easy to let go of.
And then stop doing them. Just stop.
It might get a little messy.
At first he may get a bit bent out of shape
that you’re not on him, at him, throwing love and
attention at him or doing for him all the time –-
but secretly, he’ll start feeling seriously better
about your relationship.
And you’ll feel seriously better,
too, when he starts giving you (without you’re even
asking) what you really want –- attention, affection,
sweetness, the doing of household chores.
Remember, it’s about the Big Ticket
Being able to negotiate.
Keep your eye on the prize: Stop giving
all your energy to managing your man and everything in
your daily lives, and start using it to love yourself
Let me show you all the ways in which you
can be happy and thrive in your relationship.
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In her packed Los Angeles workshops,
relationship coach, author, speaker and seminar leader
Rori Raye teaches women the completely original, controversial,
simple-to-do techniques for communication, confidence,
and connecting with men that she used to turn her own
now-glorious eighteen-year marriage around.