Reply To: Metaphor: Wanting a Garden Without Nurturing It

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From your other posts, I think we’re in a similar struggle. I relate to your metaphor so much. What I’ve been asking myself is why I feel like I should provide the things my husband wants, even when he puts in zero effort?? Because I definitely play a role. I think I’m easily manipulated by anger and guilt. So when my husband gets upset about something he wants that he hasn’t contributed to, I feel bad. It’s really screwed up. I’m trying to stop myself from jumping in and “fixing” things, but it’s hard because when I don’t, I feel guilty. Is it the same for you?

I’ve had some success in raising his awareness of when he’s being completely passive despite saying he wants to do something, but not much success in him actually DOING it. I’m just trying much harder to not jump in and do it for him. I’m also going to counselling to deal with my weird guilt about not providing a grown man with the life he wants! It’s hard.

Our actual yard is often a disaster unless I do something about it, too – so your metaphor works on many levels! I do most of our outdoor work because he doesn’t notice when things look awful. Just today I asked him to mow the lawn (while I was doing some heavy gardening and planting) and it took him nearly two hours to do one little strip, because he decided he needed to hand pull all the weeds first. This is the guy who hasn’t noticed all year when the lawn is full of weeds, how often I mow, or when our yard was the ugliest on the block. It’s exhausting!! I think that’s also why I’d often rather just do things myself.