Sep 2012

Is being a bossy-pants causing tight pants?

Do you ever feel like you have to be the one “in charge” in your relationship? Are you constantly telling your significant other how to do things?  Are you constantly giving him business advice, making every attempt to get him to work harder, quit his dead end job, or do something that actually makes him happy (and rich)? Do you wish he would just “know” what to do without you asking?

And are you so exhausted at the end of the day that all you want to do is curl up with a pint of ice cream of bag of potato chips?

Most of my clients are “the boss” in their relationship, and they feel like life would be easier if their man just listened to them and got his shit together.  They may be right;), but the constant directions and nagging just make our men less likely to make a move, and make us more frustrated… and fat.

Also, when we’re always “on” in our relationship and are looking for every opportunity to teach, direct and change, then we’re not focused on taking care of ourselves, nor are we creating the space for our men to take care of us.  When we’re not being taken care of, the only way we get comfort and love is through food.

I’m sure you can relate to that warm, soothing blanket feeling you get when you dive into a box of cookies. But I also know you’re very familiar with the nauseous, guilty, embarrassed after-math.  Getting love through food is keeping you stuck in a body and life that you hate.

I had a client, we’ll call her Charlotte, who was in this boat.  Her boyfriend hated his job that required him to work 80 hours a week and didn’t make him much money, putting a strain on their mutual finances.  He had a dream to be an artist, but spent more time complaining than planning an exit strategy.  On top of that, he never cooked, helped out around the house or did anything romantic.

My client, as you can imagine, was ready to throw in the towel, but loved him so much and knew he was a good guy.  At the same time, she couldn’t imagine continuing to play the role of his mother, plus, she was drowning her anxiety in girl scout cookies daily and her jeans were getting tighter by the minute.

When the topic came up in our session, this is what I told her:

Take all the energy you’ve been focusing on telling him how to live his life and focus it on taking care of yourself, embracing your femininity, and creating the life you want.

She was worried that if she stopped directing him that he would really go off the deep end, but I assured her that him really failing would be better than her feeling responsible for him for the rest of her life.  It’s just too draining.

Charlotte spent the next two weeks taking baths, doing her hair and makeup everyday (something that brought her a lot of pleasure), she quit one of her jobs so she could focus on her business, she went for walks, danced around the house and went out more.

After just two weeks, she called me practically in tears. “SARAH! You won’t believe what happened this week.  My bf quit his job, got 2 gigs doing what he loves, made me dinner and took out the trash. And I didn’t say a word.”

“And how do you feel?” I asked.

“I feel amazing, I’ve never felt so beautiful, I’m eating half the amount that I used to and I’m starting to fit into my old jeans.”


Here’s how it works:

No nagging + more self-care = driven dude AND smaller jeans. Tweet it!

Giving your man the space allows him to live his own life and show up for you. Plus, when you lead by example in taking care of yourself, he’ll want to dive right in with you. But it must start with you.  The icing on the cake? When you and your man are taking care of you, cookies, cakes and chips are no longer your only source of comfort and love.

So here’s what I want you to do:

  1. Write down all the things that you’re being a bossy-pants about in your relationship, friendships and family.
  2. Stop telling other people what to do, and focus all that energy on taking care of yourself.
  3. Leave a comment below to pledge what you’re going to zip your lips about, and tell us how you’re going to take better care of yourself this week.

I know this is hard! I know (you think) you know better.  And, I promise that if you zip it for just a week, I bet you’ll see a major shift in your relationship, happiness and cravings.

Have fun:)

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  • I am going to stop badgering on my brothers life and his relationship with both my family and his exgirlfriend. I’ll stop commenting on his anti social sloth like behavior and start getting back to me. Going to art shows, getting ahead in my work, and going on dates again. Thanks for the slap in the face i needed.

  • big mouth

    This is SO TRUE! I not only take responsibility for everything in my husband’s work, decisions about our kids, etc. but I am also taking on way to much training my new employee. I just want everything to go perfect while she transitions into the job, but I know that in some ways I’m actually hampering her finding her own ways of doing things.

    I’ll back off on her, and let her handle things without me hovering around taking on tasks that she can do herself. That way I’ll have time to make and eat a refreshing salad instead of just cramming down a pb&j while working. I’ll also let my husband handle his work. And I’m not going to run around in circles so much about the business we’re starting. I’m way to stressed about it, and I think it will work out if I just relax a bit. I’m going to take up yoga and jogging – two things that make me feel so good when I take the time to do them! Thanks so much for writing this post – it hit the mark dead on!!!

  • I’m going to stop asking my husband questions that I try to have come off as casual interest in his day or our home, but what I know actually come off as nagging and passive agressive. I am sure that I do this because I’m attempting to control his actions, when really I need to stop being a “bossy-pants” (Sarah, sometimes I think you’re in my head!). I’m going to take the time to make breakfast for myself each morning and zip my lips every time my husband buys lunch for himself rather than making it at home.

  • Sara

    I’m going to stop telling my boyfriend that he needs to leave his job and do something that makes him happy. The nagging is only making his work-life worse and causing him to feel more unhappy at his job than he actually is. He’s a big boy and knows what he needs to feel human.

Sarah Jenks

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