Many people are “walking on eggshells” in their marriage and it’s killing their connection.
Whenever a person tells me they are walking on eggshells in their marriage I know I have to help them stop this behavior quickly.
In the process of walking on eggshells, they are usually trying to stop their partner from bringing to them emotions they don’t like.
One example: A person may be walking on eggshells to stop their partner emotionally blowing-up.
The problem with acting submissive and fearful of a partner is neither person is going to feel good.
Treading on eggshells is essentially designed to protect, but all it really creates is irritation and more disconnection.
It will irritate the person they are trying to not irritate so it’s actually counterproductive.
Plus it will disconnect the person trying to avoid problems from themselves and their own values so their process weakens them.
Helping someone breakthrough their own fears and reclaiming themselves to become stronger and confident is critical for their own emotional health.
I encourage my clients doing this pattern to take their power back through understanding three critical points.
- Every couple has problems and avoiding them is not the answer.
- Secondly never ever become afraid* of your partner or their emotions.
- Thirdly learn what you have to do to positively influence any situation.
1. Never avoid your problems
Couples’ problems have a habit of growing in very destructive ways if they are not addressed.
Problems are a normal part of anyone’s life and so I’m usually surprised if there are none.
It’s important to face your problems head-on because burying your head in the sand doesn’t mean the problems will have gone away.
In many cases peoples problems are sat wanting for their day to arrive.
I once heard someone say the only people without problems are dead people.
So problems are just a part of the human experience and wherever there are people there will naturally be problems.
2. Never be afraid of your partner and their emotions
This part is a skill created through understanding how to interpret the situation correctly and with confidence.
Plus it’s important to know people with resentment for the person don’t respect the person they can control.
Situations need to be handled with confidence not fear.
I remember getting home one evening and the kids said to me “mum is in a foul mood”.
“Where is she” I asked.
As I went to find her they said “where are you going”?
“I’m going to find her”. I replied
“Are you nuts”!
Avoiding her would have been “nuts” to use the kids phrase.
The Mindset Reset: I’m not afraid of my wife because I don’t believe she is ever trying to hurt me, plus I know exactly what to do when I do find her regardless of what she might throw at me.
The person who would normally tread on eggshells will have so much more confidence when their fear has gone and they know how to positively influence any situation.
Which brings me onto point 3.
3. Become a positive influence
I remember one couple where he was constantly walking on eggshells around his wife.
They were never going to rebuild their connection with this dynamic.
So I spent a session with him to helping him understand this dynamic so he could walk in confidently knowing he could deal with any problem.
So when he and his wife were in the session with me a week later I asked her what it was like when he came home from our meeting.
She said “What did you do to him”?
I then asked her “What did you feel when he walked in”?
“Scared” she replied half smiling, half confused.
“Good!” I responded with a smile.
We both laughed.
He took control of their energy and it connected her to her vulnerability which she would never have been with him historically as she saw him as emotionally weak.
She felt his strength and this was new for her.
She felt a combination of liking his energy and an uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability that she had to get to know as part of her journey.
What walking on eggshells tells me is the person doing this is unconfident in knowing what to do to positively influence the situation and their partner.
For these relationships to work that behaviour must go.
*This is not directed at physical abuse couples.