Post # 1
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
My anxiety is ruining my marriage! (Sorry, this is going to be long!)
I am a micromanager, always have been. In the past I’ve never really worried about this because to me, the things I say/do are out of love and I always thought that was obvious to my husband.
Well, it turns out it’s not. And really, it may come more from anxiety than love afterall.
How this all came about is that DH and I are seriously talking about having kids soon, and to him that has morphed into destroying our marriage soon.
Presently, my micromanaging annoys him, but more often than not he’s able to just brush it off and ignore it. With the occasional spat where he snaps at me to stop “mothering” him, my feelings get hurt, he feels bad, and we both apologize and forgive each other.
Well, next we came to talking about having children, and he admitted to me that he’s afraid that when we have kids I will lose myself as a person because I’ll get so wrapped up in being a mom and being the “perfect” mom and everything else, that I’ll cease to be his wife. This is a valid fear on his part, and I can see the parts of my persionality that make him feel this way. What I don’t know is how to control my behaviour to precent this from happening and how to proce to him that I CAN prevent this from happening.
For those of you who have been through this, how did you learn to control your thoughts/actions to not micromamange everything. How did you cope with the underlying anxiety?
Post # 2
Ha, this is one of the many reason I’m not really into the idea of having kids myself.
I am just like that too (as is my mother, so I even have that as a role model for parenting), and imy behavior this way is exacerbated by the fact that as much as I love DH, I often feel like I can’t rely on him to do X or Y either the “right” way or more importantly at the right time.
While the fomer is obviously my problem (as there are many “right” ways to do something, and it being *my* way doens’t make it the only “right” way), the latter I feel like is a more reasonable concern because there are black and white, good times, better times, and too late times that things need to get done. We are working on both and hoping that helps my need to micromanage everything…. But Type A will always be Type A to some extent.
I would examine your own situation and assess if, aside from your anxiety, there are any legitimate reasons for you feeling like you need to micromanage things. If there are, try to address them as well, as that should help reduce your anxiety about it. Importantly, you should (as should I!) look at ways to reduce your anxiety. I have been trying to think about things that I want to nitpick and ask myself if it really matters. If I will care in a week. If it’s worth fighting over. It helps…I have also heard that meditation and mindfulness works well — and though I have always insisted that I can’t because I can’t focus on nothing and relax because my mind is going on about X,Y, and Z, people tell me that I am misunderstanding the point, so I am going to try to look into it more. I think you may want to consider that as well. 🙂
Also, if you think your anxiety may be problematic or distruptive to you, treating that directly perhaps with medication may be beneficial. SSRIs are actaully quite effective for anxiety (not just depression) but I feel like most people are not aware of this. I am a scientist and the studies on are fascinating both experimentally and in human clinical patients. But that is a very personal choice left up to you and your care providers. Hope that helps!
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
I’ve mellowed significantly with age. By the time I hit 28 I accepted that I needed to let go more, because making myself crazy over things certainly wasn’t helping me. That’s not to say that I don’t have my “need to control”, “must be absolutely perfect” urges. I do. I’ve just learned to recognize those urges when they appear, acknowledge them for what they are, and consciously choose to ignore them. In repeating that process over and over again, it becomes easier each time. And by letting go and allowing situations where I am not in control to happen, I’ve learned that, for the most part, letting go usually works out just fine in the end. Those situations become my positive reinforcement and reference points. I can say to myself, “LK, remember that time when you handed control over to Lala, thinking it would turn out to be a sh*tshow, and yet Lala totally nailed it? It worked out great in the end, and you felt so much less stressed in the process. Let’s do that again. Let’s hand off control and trust that everything will work out just fine in the end.” Yes, I give myself peptalks. But they work! It’s gotten to the point where my boss swears I’m taking her happy pills because I’ve become so much more zen than I used to be. A lot of it is just life experience and personal growth. 34 years on this planet can have that effect. 🙂
Post # 4
I’m not a micromanager but having read what you said this does sound similar to my MIL. She likes/has to do things herself because she doesn’t trust others to do it. True story: before we got married and DH was still living at home he was making a sandwich for himself (an adult) and she literally took the knife from his hand to make it for him. She likes to be involved/know everything…but if it’s against what she would do/likes then she does not like it and will argue about it over and over.
Anyway, not that I am a psyschiatrist nor do I know everything about my MIL but I do know a few bits and pieces about her life to think I may know where her behaviour might stem from. So I guess the first thing to do would be to try and think about what the causes are behind your micromanaging. Maybe one or both of your parents are like it? Maybe neither of them are and to get anything done in your house you needed to take charge and it has always been that way? Maybe it’s another reason. If you can identify it then it might help you work out what to do.
If you husband tells you to stop mothering him then you need to stop and listen. Maybe you could come to some agreement on a time limit. For example, you give him a job to do and a time limit when it has to be done by (this might vary depending on the type of job) and you are not allowed to nag him about getting the job done until after the time limit has expired.
Coming from the perspective of his wife, I see my husband with his mum and how most of what he does never seems to be good enough for her. So I would ask you, please try not to micromanage your children. Accept them for who they are and help them reach their potential…not the potential you expect them to have.