Overcoming the Caregiver Curse | Psychology Today Canada

Overcoming the Caregiver Curse | Psychology In the present day Canada


As youngsters, many nurturers develop up with typically comfortable temperaments. They’re adaptable, extra simply regulate their feelings, and are typically content material. They might tackle the position of the peacemaker of their household, or put their wants apart for the sake of others.

Nurturing is a superb trait—however caring about your family members to your individual detriment might be poisonous. Issues go awry when a pure nurturer pairs up with somebody who exploits and takes benefit of this persona attribute. When this occurs, chances are you’ll initially discover that your caregiving talents make you’re feeling particular, beloved, and even highly effective within the union. Over time, although, you find yourself feeling used, burdened, and just like the life you needed for your self will not be doable

Listed below are some indicators that your relationship is one-sided—and techniques for overcoming the caregiver curse.

1. Strolling on eggshells. You might be by no means comfy. You might be all the time questioning when the opposite shoe will drop together with your associate. Will they/gained’t they need to see you, or will they/gained’t they blame you for one thing? If you’ll want to make a request of them, will they activate you? You might be hardly ever at peace or comfy in your individual pores and skin however as an alternative obsess about what’s happening or will go on together with your associate. Begin a brand new sample by constructing self-awareness for if you begin obsessing over your associate. Once you catch your self, take a deep breath, let go, and are available again to the duty at hand, bettering your self or your life ultimately, or just take within the current second.

2. Feeling answerable for your associate’s destructive feelings. When your associate is upset or anxious or offended, you’re employed to make them really feel higher. You allow them to take out their feelings on you by fawning over them and absorbing these feelings. “Are you okay? I’m so sorry that occurred,” is okay, however permitting your associate’s intense feelings to play out over and over in extra, unchecked, can develop into emotionally abusive. See if you can begin a brand new approach of speaking in these moments during which you retain your individual self care prime of thoughts. For instance: “Seems like a tough day, however the way in which you’re expressing it’s intense and overwhelming. I’m going to take a break and we are able to revisit it if you’re calmer.”

3. Making excuses in your associate. Maybe there are stuff you look ahead to or that you simply suppose will occur after which, as soon as once more, your associate’s wants trump your individual. As a substitute of drawing a boundary and letting your associate know his/her habits is unacceptable, you rapidly blink away your rage and make an excuse for them after which as soon as once more accommodate. Begin recognizing when you find yourself truly upset by one thing your associate did or didn’t do. As a substitute of pushing it away so rapidly, let the emotions be current and resist the impulse to right away make an excuse for them. Anger is a vital emotion that, when appropriately processed, helps us do what must be executed or say what must be stated to care for ourselves.

4. Concern of being alone. Usually on the coronary heart of the caregiving dynamic is an individual who has not but totally confronted themselves and how one can be comfy inside themselves. This may maintain you in relationships that could be unhealthy however that really feel higher than simply being alone with your self. Begin to change this sample by making extra time to only be with your self. Over time it is best to develop into extra comfy alone, and even begin to get pleasure from it. ( begin to healthfully being alone is the train in this publish. For extra on constructing shallowness, see my e-book.)


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