Are you overprotecting your partner?

Overprotecting your partner is one of the patterns of behaviour that help destroy a relationship.

Many couples who come to me for help discover they have created this dynamic of overprotection for each other.

Protection for each other is, of course, a good thing.  But when it becomes intrusive or overprotecting then problems can arise.

Some overprotecting examples

Women can become over-protectors.  When a woman does this it can feel normal and the right thing to do. However, ladies, by doing so are you emasculating him?   Remember he is NOT one of the children!  He is a grown adult and a man.  He is quite capable of protecting himself!  If you are frequently protecting him he can end up becoming ‘childlike’.  Why?  Well, he wants to make you happy and overprotecting him can trigger him to change his behaviours to those he believes you want in order for him to feel successful with you.  Now you wonder what happened to that masculine man, the one you married, as you now have a child on your hands.

Now he’s not being him.  You wonder why he’s lost his masculinity and find yourself becoming irritated with his childlike behaviours.  The tough part of this to take on board is you had a role in helping him create this new pattern of behaviour.  Neither of you is enjoying the new dynamic and you begin to question whether you should be together.

Men can also become over-protectors.  This can feel like control to a woman.  They feel they no longer have a voice or a part to play in the relationship.  It can feel very one-sided.  As one lady once said to me “It’s his way or no way”.  From his point-of-view, he believed he was protecting her from various worries he had and he wanted her to feel free.  Actually, all she felt was as though she was in a cage.  A lovely cage but a cage nonetheless.

Men can find it difficult to relinquish this behaviour as they justify it to themselves time and time again and believe they are just misunderstood and their actions thrown back in their face.  When actually by learning the difference between protection and control the whole dynamic can re-align.

Find out if you are overprotecting

Discovering the truth about what each of you needs and how those needs need to be met avoids the misinterpretations and confusions of overprotection. This requires you both to listen to the other and experience life from the other’s viewpoint.

When a relationship is suffering this can feel an impossible task. But by learning how in a safe environment these new appreciations can be experienced without the need for judgements, justifications or defensiveness.

If you would like to learn how then now might be the time to take that step.