Should she say no?
“Maj, I’m sooooo tired, I cannot take it anymore and now he wants to go away for 4 days of fun with his friends in Berlin!
When is it my turn to have fun?!
I feel like I’m the only one who gives and gives and gives and goddamit I’ve had enough!
But I can’t be the “bitch” who says no, can I?
Why does he never think about me? And why does he never ever ask me about what I want? Why is it never me?”
Well howdy victim!
Where did you come from?
I know that my dear friend knows the answer because we’ve talked about it before but still she sits there with tears in her eyes, looking like she could use 4 days of sleep, be pampered from head to toe and all her desires met.
But thats NEVER going to happen.
Because she doesn’t have the guts to say it out aloud and with all the “yeses” she keeps giving, her schedule is completely full satisfying everyone else but herself!
But her husband does have the guts!
He can say “I’d like this and this and this and this and this.”
And he’s used to her ALWAYS saying yes because that’s what she’s taught him she will do over and over again.
So in their relationship he gets all he wants, is satisfied and loves her more than anything in the world.
There’s just one little problem.
She’s often pissed off, bitter and angry with him.
And he doesn’t get it because he does everything she asks him to and if she asked him to bring her the moon, I know he’d try!
But she just doesn’t ask.
She just keeps saying yes.
And then shuts up about her own needs.
There’s no room for them in her mind.
They have two kids.
One really big garden!
A house she wants to maintain and keep up.
And sister she also needs to talk to.
Some friends she never says no to either, even though some of them call her at the weirdest hours.
Of course, she’d much much rather go to bed early with a good book but she’s worried they’d be upset with her if she didn’t oblige them.
Throughout her childhood she learned a rule for how to behave and treat other people so that they will love you.
And that rule is:
“I always have to make others happy and satisfy their needs.”
This is so deeply engrained in her subconscious that she’s not aware of it until she gets to the point where she just can’t do it.
And then she starts to feel bad.
Then she starts to doubt whether she’s loved, if she’s “good enough”, whether her husband will find someone else, if her girlfriends talk about her behind her back, or whether she’s a good mother.
For days she’ll be unhappy and sad in her own little world, while her husband doesn’t understand what’s gotten into her.
So should she say no?
Yes, she should.
Because my beautiful friend (who’s already in bootcamp training) has F-I-N-A-L-L-Y understood, that when she says yes to something in her life, there’s something else she’s saying no to!
And if she A-L-W-A-Y-S says no to herself, then she ends up exactly where she was when she was devastated and crying (again) sitting on my couch.
So we started to explore this rule of “I always have to make everyone else happy and satisfy their needs” and I told her about the book “Life Strategies” written by Dr. Phil.
When we want to change our habits, it’s good to have support, help, and guidance, which she’ll find in this book that I repeatedly recommend in my clinic.
And of course she should ALSO say yes, and of course her husband is going to Berlin with his pals!
But now she’s said yes because she actually means yes.
She’s given him a true yes, and not a “yes” based in fear that he’d leave her if she said no!
When we can say both yes and no honestly, it really makes a difference in our lives.
We are more energized and there’s more room for the things we think are fun.
And I’ve been there too!
I’ve been the worst “no-sayer” on this side of the Atlantic and it almost cost me my life.
But that’s quite another story…
So I KNOW, how frustrating it is, to stand there saying yes while being getting more depleted, more sad, stressed, burned out and maybe in the end having a breakdown.
All the best
Maj Wismann – Relationship Therapist and Clinical Sexologist with own clinic since 2006