If your family is like most families, you probably find yourself getting pulled in many different directions at the same time on a constant basis. Sometimes it might feel as though you can’t even get your brain to turn off when you go to bed because you have so much to think about.
Unfortunately, many of us fall into the trap of being people pleasers, and we do it at the expense of our marriages. If you’re not sure whether or not you fit into this category, answer the following questions:
- When people come to you for help, do you ever feel guilty about declining?
- Do you tend to take on too many activities?
- Do you ever have to cancel plans with your spouse or your family because of other obligations?
- Do you find yourself breaking promises to your spouse because someone else needed you?
- Have you ever felt like you had to schedule a date with your spouse around your other activities?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s likely that you are placing too much importance on the happiness of others, and not enough importance on your spouse’s happiness.
WHY DO WE SAY “YES” SO MUCH?
The fact is that some of us are just always ready to say “yes” when we’re asked to take on a task. When people need us, we’re eager to offer a helping hand because we enjoy the feeling of being needed. It gives us fulfillment to serve other people, even if we’re too exhausted to have a conversation with our spouses at the end of the day.
The other reason many of us have a hard time turning people down is the simple fact that it’s so much easier to agree to help than to say you can’t. You get an immediate sense of gratification, even if you’ll silently regret your decision later on. Perhaps you can relate, and you’ve found yourself stuck in a cycle of people pleasing for a long time.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF PEOPLE PLEASING
Any time you make a choice, there are consequences. Sometimes those consequences are positive, and sometimes they’re negative. If you’re a people pleaser, that means you regularly put the needs of other people above those of your spouse. If you’ve been noticing that you and your spouse seem to be spending less time together, drifting apart emotionally, or enjoying less intimacy, it’s likely that these are the consequences of your choices.
The good news is that even if you’ve put others’ needs before your spouse’s in the past, it’s not too late to make a change. Yes, it might mean that you’ll need to have some tough conversations with people who have relied upon your assistance in the past. You may even need to change the way you spend time with your children, with your parents, or with your church family. Making a change in these relationships is sometimes necessary in order for you to be able to put your spouse first.
As a Christian Marriage Coach and Counselor, I’ve seen many marriages healed when two people make the decision to make their relationship with their spouse their most important priority. It’s a very rewarding change in your marriage, and although you might not be able to see it now, your other relationships will benefit from it too.
If you would like to talk with a Christian Marriage Coach and Counselor in Beaufort, SC about your tendency to please other people above your spouse, or about another marriage problem altogether, please contact me. If you live outside Beaufort, we can also work together either by phone or video call. Call us today at 843-379-0288 or book your appointment through our online scheduler.
God has incredible plans for your marriage. However, in order to see exactly what he has in store for you, it’s important to fully embrace the wonderful person he has blessed you with. Start saying “no” to too many obligations and begin saying “yes” to the person you love the most.