How would you describe your relationship style? Do you treat your partner as a person to relate to or a project to be managed? The way you relate in a romantic relationship has everything to do with what you experienced growing up. This is what I call your, Downloaded Love Blueprint. In my parents marriage my mother was constantly trying to manage my father. She withheld information that would upset him and we were expected to organize around him and what he wanted. I learned that I did not want that type of relationship.

When I met my husband Vic, I knew that our relationship was different from those in my past. I could be myself. I wasn’t afraid of what he thought or how he would react to things. His words and actions were consistent. Instead of managing him, I felt fully supported by him and vice versa.

“Allow yourself to be an anchor and anchored by others.” ― Asa Don Brown via @Terri_Cole {CLICK TO TWEET}

Being in a relationship where you are ‘managing’ your partner is really doing a disservice to both of you. This behavior falls into the category or having, The Disease to Please. And the real question is how can anyone authentically love you if you don’t allow them to authentically know you? Trying to manage another person denies you of real support and denies the other person the opportunity to step into their potential as a partner, not a project.

A supportive relationship starts with two people who take care of themselves, first. Being with someone who enhances your life rather than drains it, is an indication that you are getting and giving healthy support. If you find yourself automatically giving more than you expect, explore the why. In order to get more support, you have to know where and when you need it. Then you have to be willing to ask for it and allow it.

Why suffer in silence? Get the support you WANT by asking for what you NEED @Terri_Cole {CLICK TO TWEET}

For many people, (listen up, moms) you may deny support by constantly handling everything alone. Sometimes this is because you need it done your way (which according to Janny Cole, if you need it done your way you will be doing it all yourself!) Once your partner sees you as someone who can do it all, they won’t offer their support because they won’t think you need, or want it. People, especially men, like to feel needed. So when it comes to getting more support ask for it, accept it and be grateful.

Remember that you are responsible for the 50% that you bring to any relationship. Keep this in mind if you are seeking a relationship or already in one. Give your partner (or potential partner) the chance to show up for you. Opening yourself up to another makes you vulnerable but it’s worth the risk because healthy love is so much sweeter than playing out some age old dysfunction until the end of time. You deserve luscious, fun, functional love!

Now, in the comments below I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts on the importance of support and authenticity in relationships. What do you think about asking for support? Do you do it? Will you now? I want to hear from you too!

Remember it’s important to care of each other and to as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love




*image courtesy of Nic Price

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  1. Hello,I am Karen,been with my guy for 2 years and I feel like I have put so much in this relationship and I never get nothing back,not that I’m expecting it,but it would b nice for anything back,note that he is autistic,I’m sure that has a lil or a lot to do with it,plus he came out of a 18 year old toxic relationship ,years back,but besides all that yes I had some stuff that I can admit that I got going on,anxiety,perfectism,and OCD which I have been working on that has been a challenge for me,but I’m dealing with that on top of trying to get something to come back from his part,rather it b sympathy or empathy,or own up to hey I made a mistake and I’m willing to fix it,the fact it’s chance after chance,the sweet thoughts anything,and haven’t even took the time to absolutely learn me,and I just don’t see that being love,now what am I dealing with or am I missing something…?

    1. We all want to feel supported and loved by our partner. It is worth having a conversation with him about what makes you feel loved, seen and heard. Ask if he is willing to be there for you in that way. Ask for what you need. You are worthy of receiving.

  2. I absolutely manage my husband. I’m not sure why I do it – but it doesn’t feel good. I stopped asking for help a long time ago, and started keeping score a lot more. I don’t like this about myself, but I feel if I ask for help, I either don’t get it in the way that I want it, or I’m made to feel guilty for asking for it. My husband often makes comments about how he “has to do everything.” Sometimes he plays it off as sarcasm, or a joke. But the fact is, he hardly has to do ANYTHING in my mind. I manage the household responsibilities including the four kids in the house (two ours, two his). I don’t really feel like he has that “want” to feel needed that you’re mentioning. Is that possible? How can I stop managing him without asking for help?

    1. Meghan,
      I think stepping back and really understanding your own need to over function will help you change the dance you are doing with your husband. I think you can re-frame the conversation from you asking for “help” to splitting up the chores and duties more equitably. You have set the stage by being in control and now if you want it to change you need to change your part of the dance. You can definitely do it, mama!

  3. I think I’m a manager-in-recovery.

    I was raised by a strong, judgmental mother who raised four children on her own. For most of my adult life I’ve also been a strong, judgmental (mostly of myself) mother and partner. Go figure.

    I realize now that in my efforts to do it “right” and on my own, I think I’ve been avoiding feeling judged (and therefore unlovable) at all costs.

    But when the father of my children passed away a few years ago, my desire for an authentic existence was cinched. I no longer want to live or model a life without Love, without authenticity.

    Now that I am in a loving relationship and my children are turning into beautiful teenagers, eager for independence, it becomes more clear to me every day that in a loving relationship, both people need to be able to speak their truth, fall down, make mistakes, ask for help and get back up — all without judgement or management.

    Thank you for this important reminder + for everything that you do, Terri.

  4. Wow, Terri. Thank you for writing this post. I spent 4 years in a relationship with a partner who I was constantly trying to manage. Needless to say, it was a disaster! I constantly felt unworthy; she constantly felt controlled. All I wanted to do was please her. The more I focused on pleasing her instead of nurturing myself and giving her the opportunity to “show up”, the less she felt I was in the relationship because of who she was, and more like a project pet.

    There were many other issues that led to our breakup. However, the major point I took away from it all was that managing a partner leads to a horrendous time spent together, and a lot of brokenness.

    In my new relationship, it’s all about allowing each other to “show up” instead of trying to control through service. Although we’re both very nurturing and have what I like to call a “servant’s heart”, we do not sacrifice our individual needs and desires for the other’s. There’s a lot of love-filled negotiation, making sure that we’re loving ourselves FIRST. We allow each other to be who we are separately and together. It’s a beautiful, beautiful relationship.

    Thank you for the reminder that offering one’s best means offering your authentic self.

    1. Thank you for sharing so openly Ivy. It seems that you have learned a lot from your previous relationship. I love when you say you now allow each other to ‘show up.’ Keep up the good work and thank you again for your insightful post.

  5. Hi,
    I would say that some of the times i have to manage the relationship to make sure that there is a balance in our social life/ time at home/ travels and activities. My husband works long hours as a consultant and when he gets in the mood of just wanting to stay at home during the weekends, I make sure we do something exciting and refreshing and disconnect us from the weekly routine.
    We have also made an agreement when we got married that i would take care of the household budget, manage staff salaries and kids’ activities etc… and he would take care of issues outside home. we have a balance and it’s worked great for the past 19 years 🙂

    1. It sounds like a recipe for a long, happy and healthy relationship. Of course every relationship needs managing, however when people start to manage each other, it can get messy. Thanks for the helpful comment!

  6. Love this tip. It is ideal for the married, divorced, single, getting married or getting married again people who are questioning who they are currently with, why are they with this person and what the next level of their relationships should look like.

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