Many years ago I learned that there are 3 people who could be present in any romantic relationship, and that understanding these roles was the best way to create change so that people could start to have more meaningful and loving relationships with one another. Here are the 3 roles and their functions:
PARENT: the person who assumes the role of taking care of the other spouse, helping them, doing things for them, and treating their spouse like a child. The parent enjoys the control but often becomes resentful of having to do everything and wishes for a more proactive partner. They may see their spouse as incapable, inept, or unmotivated. And yet, they wish they were more able to let go of things themselves. The parent often feels resentful, or of elevated importance, and most often "plays the martyr".
CHILD: the person who takes on the role of being incapable of doing things, expecting the spouse to look out for them, and refusing to take responsibility for their own actions or behaviors. They want their needs met with little concern for meeting the needs of their spouse. They may see the spouse as controlling, over bearing, or smarter and better able to take care of the family. The child often feels attacked, or entitled, and most often "plays the victim".
ADULT: the person in the relationship who sees all parties as valuable and works with the partner to make the family function well. They are strong and confident about what they know, yet are not afraid to admit when they need help or don't know something. They like to work with their partner to meet each others needs, as well as the needs of the kids or family. They communicate effectively, without blame or shame, and they listen well to their partners. They admit faults or indiscretions, and work to make amends. They prioritize the family, and are accountable for their actions.
An adult partner is not typically successful in a relationship with someone playing the role of child or parent because it goes against the adults values to "enable the victim mentality of the child partner" or to succumb to the "martyrdom of a parent partner."
Knowing is half the battle. No man wants to be married to his mother and spend his life with someone telling him what to do, what to eat, and how to think. At the same time, no woman wants to be married to her child and spend her life wishing he would help around the house, make a decision, or take responsibility for his actions. It's exhausting living in a relationship that is out of alignment like that. If you are having challenges in your relationship, discuss these roles with your partner and see how you both might take steps to becoming "adult partners" and Live Inspired Now!
PS: I am happy to assist! Contact me today to turn your relationship around! firstname.lastname@example.org