Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 25: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy!! … I’ve run into multiple people, recently, who are looking at their first or sometimes, their last child heading off to college, and they are freaking out about their relationship with their partner. The big one I’ve heard, from multiple people, is, “They are driving me crazy! Oh my gosh, Christine, everything about them is driving me crazy.”
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 25: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy!! This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my future empty nest friend! Tomorrow is my birthday! Not right now, when I’m recording this, but when this episode goes live! I guess I should plan now what I want for my birthday because I do not need to wait for others to read my mind. Who has the time or energy for that? Not me. You know what you could do for my birthday? If you haven’t already, give my podcast, assuming you love it, a five star rating on Apple Podcasts. That would be super of you. Thank you. You are the best!
A quick reminder that all of my episodes are brought to you by my my free seven-day program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering Future You. Hop on over to my website: youremptynestcoach.com and sign up, today. Look for the link that says “Uncover Your Future!”
What is with this episode’s title? I’ve run into multiple people, recently, who are looking at their first or sometimes, their last child heading off to college, and they are freaking out about their relationship with their partner. The big one I’ve heard, from multiple people, is, “They are driving me crazy! Oh my gosh, Christine, everything about them is driving me crazy.” This is what I’m hearing. I get it. I want you to think about what is happening in your life right now. You have had some sort of routine, I bet, for your family for quite some time. Changes have happened, yes, but it’s been slow over time. Suddenly, you, all of you, are confronted with an impending change that takes you completely out of everything that has been normal for the last few years. You won’t see it coming. Remember, your mind, that likes things to stay the same, is freaking out.
Guess what? Your partner and child have the same thing going on. Since our minds want things to stay the same, but our minds also know that things aren’t going to stay the same, our minds now get busy creating all these stories for how things are going to go. It likes to be all sorts of creative here, doesn’t it?
Suddenly, the idea of your child not being where they have been is horrifying. You now have time to focus on emotional work for yourself that you may have been hiding for years under the guise of taking care of your kids and your family. It can easily be overwhelming and frightening. Did you even realize that all of that was going on? I sure didn’t when we went through it.
Here’s a question I’ve heard, how are we going to get along? Some tough love here. You are going to get along by doing your thought work. Trust me. Another question, why is he acting so weird? I have the same answer for you here. The things that you are currently finding weird or annoying, another person on this planet might find completely adorable. Think about it. I know.
Another question: are we going to make it? That is up to you. You probably want me to tell you that, yeah, they are being annoying and you have every right to be annoyed, blah, blah, blah, blah. My friend, we all have days like this. Me, too. It happens, and well, hormones, too. Can I get an Amen? As your friend over a cup of coffee, sure, I’d say that sucks. But as your coach, that kind of support doesn’t allow for any progress in your life. I want to see you progress. I want to see you grow, I want you to become every bit of the amazing woman you are meant to be.
When you notice these types of thoughts that I mentioned often, it is a sign that you have work to do. It isn’t a sign, necessarily, that you need to leave, or a sign that your partner has lost their marbles. It could be. But first, you need to figure out what work you need to do to be happy with yourself where you are today, before you make any drastic changes. I’m not going to tell you to stay with your partner no matter what. That’s something for you and your partner to decide. I’m also not going to tell you to leave your partner. That is also for you and your partner to decide.
I’m here to just make you think, and challenge you a bit. I am going to ask you what do you think you would have if you weren’t with your partner right now? How do you think your life would be different and why are you making those differences dependent on them? Because, right now, let’s be honest, you are miserable, and that miserable you goes with you to a new relationship, or to no relationship if you choose to leave. Yes, you are still there. There was actually, a very timely and funny, on Saturday Night Live, there was a sketch with Adam Sandler that speaks to this recently. It was about vacation, but it has a lot to do with the same thing I’m saying here. I’ll put a link to it in my show notes.
If you had decided that everything would be different if you left your partner, I want you to understand that by declaring that statement you have given your partner complete control over your life and emotional health. Is that the way you want to live? Do you want to leave on those terms? First off, is your partner really responsible for your happiness? Do you want your partner to be responsible for your happiness? What if you, and only you, are responsible for your happiness, and then you come into the same relationship? How does that change where you are? How does that change how you show up? If you show up in this new way, do you think you’re going to notice a change in your partner as well?
When you are fully responsible for your own happiness, you gain control of your life 100 percent. Who would you rather be around? Someone who rides a roller coaster of feelings and thoughts reacting to your actions, they yell at you based on something you say, or cry based on a look that you made? Or someone who shows up in life in complete control of who they are and who they are meant to be? You might yell at them and they listen and understand. I know who I want to be. I wish I could tell you I’m there all the time. I’m not, but I’m working on it, and this is my goal.
It is amazing that when our thoughts change, when our inner world, our mind changes, then our outer world flows with it. Eventually, even those around us change. Sometimes, those around us will freak out a bit from the change, after all, this is incredibly important work you are doing. You are becoming an emotional adult. When that happens, people around you may not know how to respond. Give them some time to really take in the change in you. The next time your partner does something that drives you crazy, I want you to try adding, “and that’s okay,” after your thought. Here’s two examples: “He interrupted me again, and that’s okay.” “She’s doing that thing that drives me insane, and that’s okay.” When you get to a point where you can handle the, “and that’s okay,” then you’re ready for the next step. “He interrupted me,” and the “again” isn’t needed, or the “and that’s okay.” You’re getting down to the circumstance. The other one: “She’s doing that thing,” and just end there. “That drives me insane,” and “and that’s okay,” are no longer needed. You’re making progress. Then, you can move on to thoughts that create value in your world. “He interrupted me,” he’s excited to share his news. “She’s doing that thing that brings her comfort.” How are these even the same thoughts, right? They’re not. Do you feel the difference?
The first thing you have to do is to embrace, “and that’s okay.” Another good one is “So what?” Sometimes that is a great question. So what? “He interrupted me. So what?” What are you making that mean? I bet you have a dissertation on the subject. Don’t you? Somehow he represents all of the injustices of the world, the women, how they’re treated, blah, blah blah. Really, I ask you, he interrupted you, so what? Really. So what? Try that one on this week, and see how that goes.
What if you’re thinking about leaving? You can absolutely think about leaving. Play it out in your head because when you play out all of the details, it isn’t all roses and daisies. Actually, if you are having those thoughts, I would encourage you to go through my Finding Future You program and play out the details of everything with that idea in mind. See what else comes up. It probably doesn’t have as much to do about your partner as you think it does. Trust me. Do the work on you. Find your happy where you are, and then, if you still want to walk away, you can walk away with feeling confident that it’s the right thing for you.
Your child heading off to school, or any number of circumstances that may change, not only impacts you, but it impacts your partner and they are dealing with that, and you are, at the same time. Be patient with your partner. While you have a big change ahead, so does your partner. You might be dreading it, while they may be super excited to spend more time with you. They may be confused on why you don’t feel the same way.
This is a great opportunity to get to know each other all over again. You aren’t the same people that began the parenthood journey together. Life changes people, in all sorts of ways. Before you make any big decisions, be sure you’ve done the work you need to do on yourself. Most of the time, that is where the work is needed. As you know, your thoughts about a situation are just that, your thoughts. Just as you can make a circumstance mean whatever you want, so can those around you. Talk to one another, be kind to one another and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Really, try that on and see how it goes. I believe in you. I believe in both of you, together, or apart. You both deserve to be everything you are meant to be. Figuring out that together, will be a journey that is worth taking, no matter where the destination leads.
I hope this episode has helped you a little bit on your journey. Please don’t hesitate to fly on over to our Facebook Group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website: YourEmptyNestCoach.com/community for links to join our flock.
Why should you join our group? The adjustment to having your kiddos at home full time isn’t always easy, as we know, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. If you are ready to begin the journey to find Future You and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Discovering Future You. Episode 13 covers that program as well.
The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) How are you and your partner doing?
2) How has parenthood changed you, and has it impacted your relationships?
As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find show notes for this, and every episode, on my website.
My next episode’s title is: Changing your mind is OKAY! Change is OKAY! If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too! You’ll be giving them a free gift! Or take a quick screenshot of this and share it on your favorite social media site. Tag me, and I will say, “Hi!” Thanks for your time and energy with that and thanks so much for listening my empty nest friend! Remember, you are amazing!