10 Signs You’re Turning Into Your Partner’s “Mom,” and How to Stop It Before It’s Too Late
Women are genetically programmed to care for other people and to put the needs of others before their own. But sometimes, a woman’s desire to take everything under her warm “wing” becomes a serious obstacle for a healthy relationship, and the partnership of marriage starts to resemble a parent-child scenario.
Here at Bright Side, we did an investigation and discovered that some of us do act like moms to our partners. Let’s take a look at the “red flags” together and find out how we can switch the roles from being a mom to being a partner again if some of these signs occur in your relationship.
1. You constantly nag.
Women are more inclined to nag than men, psychologists say. You may want to take control of your relationship without even realizing it, and by nagging, you demonstrate that you’re a loving and caring partner, and you’re always right. If you continuously direct your partner, and if your instructions aren’t met, then it’s likely that your husband will perceive this as nagging.
The simplest way to deal with it is to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and ask yourself if you would tolerate your partner’s constant criticism if the roles were reversed. Thinking about it this way could motivate you to use praise and appreciation more than criticism.
2. You help with their career aspirations too much.
You write his cover letter and resume, actively search and apply for jobs for him, and ask everyone in your network to give him a chance. The best way to deal with this is to let yourself feel the discomfort of not doing anything and allow him to be responsible for his career himself.
You could research and send him information on training that could help him beef up his skills. But it’s better to let your partner decide whether they choose a certain job or not.
3. You always clean up after them.
“He’s too tired after work so I’ll wash the dishes, it’s not a big deal for me.” Does this happen often in your family? If you often get into the habit of being the only person to clean up after the whole family, it’s time to change things a little bit.
Scheduled cleaning will help to arrange things better and make everyone take part in domestic routines.
4. You meddle in their relationships.
You may think that some of his friends are a bad influence and have told him not to hang out with them. Or you may constantly remind him to call his best friend or parent or sibling even though he’s told you he doesn’t feel the need to talk to them.
You may not feel comfortable seeing him keep toxic friends and lose connections with good friends or family. However, you have to let him cope with his own relationships.
You can offer your advice when asked but it’s not your responsibility to fix things. Also, what you think needs “fixing” might not be what he wants to be fixed.
5. You do all the cooking and grocery shopping.
“I’d better do the shopping myself because my spouse will buy the wrong thing,” or “I’ll cook myself, even if I’m tired because if he cooks, I will have to clean up all that mess that he’ll leave after cooking.” If these statements come to your mind too often, then your over-functioning in the relationship again.
You can do your grocery shopping together, and ask them to carry heavy bags to the car. You can give them more freedom by asking them what they’d like to buy, and if they’d like some other brand of milk or sauce. Let them make these decisions on their own. Nothing bad will happen if you lose your grip over domestic things, where everyone has their own duties.
6. You always try to dress them.
Sometimes a woman treats her partner like her personal makeover project, forcing them to look a certain way and to have a style that she considers modern and appealing. It’s totally fine to buy clothes for your husband. But if he ends up never wearing them or only wearing them because you insisted, what’s the point? It becomes more about money being spent poorly.
If he starts dressing inappropriately, looks untidy all the time, and/or doesn’t take care of his personal hygiene, it’s his responsibility to change.
7. You’re in charge of their calendar.
When we think about our partner’s duties, we sometimes tend to do things to make sure they actually do them. We worry that they won’t keep up with their schedule so we take over and spoonfeed them without anyone even realizing it.
When you constantly try to “help” him, or if he doesn’t keep to his schedule, you’re going to blame yourself for something you weren’t responsible for in the first place. Just let them screw up. The disappointment he may feel afterward can serve as motivation for them to develop their own approach to how to prevent it from happening again.
8. They don’t give back.
You spent the whole day at work or with kids, cooked a delicious meal, and prepared a small treat for your beloved. But they took it for granted and never thought of doing something kind in return. You put forth too much sacrifice and placed their needs over your own, just like a real mom would do toward her children.
Splitting responsibilities and doing something nice for both of you together may help. While doing something together, you both are interested in the result, whether it’s a tasty family dinner or a short road trip to the seaside to help you both take a break from the burden of everyday chores.
9. They have too many requests for you.
As they get used to your over-devotion, your partner may start abusing your wish to do things on your own. They keep coming to you with small requests that literally devour your time and effort. You’re sleeping and they need that shirt to be ironed immediately, so instead of doing it themselves, they will come and wake you up, asking for help.
One way or another, you need to learn to say “no,” giving them more freedom and handing over more responsibility to your partner. Instead of being ready to give advice on any subject, you may just say, “I don’t know,” and there’s nothing wrong with that.
10. You take responsibility for their actions.
They didn’t pay a bill on time, so you take on the responsibility and settle things yourself. Or you may fix too many problems that are a result of your partner’s negligence or absent-mindedness. This all makes you stressed out, and you may often spend time dealing with the consequences of your partner’s poor organization and time management.
It’s time to let it go and let them learn from their own mistakes. You may want to remember that you’re not Superwoman who will come to the rescue each time. No one will die if your partner deals with the issues on their own.
What are some things you can’t help but do for your spouse? In what ways have you tried to take a step back?