You Don’t Always Have To Try So Hard

You Don’t Always Have To Try So Hard

We’re all achievers in this community. We’re all hard-working, dedicated, smart women. We hold ourselves to high standards, which means we try hard, basically all the time at anything we’re doing. Can you relate? Here’s the thing: You can stop trying so hard.

Listen to the podcast episode here:

Find more details and read the transcript here:

Here’s the thing, we may even have guilt when we know we’re not trying our hardest. I know I’ve struggled with this before, and have heard the same from women in our community.  

You can stop trying so hard.

I have a story for you, and how this pertains to marriage. I have a girlfriend who called me up the other day, and she said, “Michelle, I am at my wits’ end. I think I’m going to have to get a divorce.”

This would be her second divorce. And she is a fantastic wife. I’ve known this woman for such a long time. I’ve watched her in her marriage and let me tell you; she is a wonderful wife. 

In fact, I was joking with her and said, you know, when my husband Brian is around her as a wife, I’m so worried because he’s seeing her behave so well of being so accommodating and so thoughtful. I look at him and go, don’t get any ideas because I am not that type of wife. So she’s fantastic. 

She’s thinking she’ll have to get a divorce because they just can’t get along. 

And trust me, she’s trying really hard.

And I told her, I said, you know what, if you work hard enough in your marriage, I am sure that it will succeed. And as soon as it came out of my mouth, the second, the last word left my mouth, I thought, Oh God, no, that’s not true at all. 

So I immediately said, you know what? No, no, no, no, no, no, that, that’s the worst advice I think I’ve ever given you. 

In all the years we’ve known each other, do not pay attention. That advice is dead wrong. You can work your butt off in a marriage, you can do all the right things, read all the books, follow all the advice. You can go to therapy. You can try every which way in your marriage to make it work. Whether you’re married to an addict or an alcoholic or not, you can do all the things better than any other wife you know. 

And you know what, it might still not succeed. It might not work.

So what I want to tell you is that if you are exhausted from trying so hard to make your relationship work, if you are at your wits’ end and you’re done with all of the ways you try to improve, please, the best thing I can tell you is to take a break. 

Take the month off. Just relax. Take a deep breath, know that you are absolutely doing your best, and here’s the deal. Your best is good enough. It’s better than good enough. It’s wonderful. Be kind to yourself, and be gentle. 

Take a month off – just stop trying so hard.

You are struggling because every woman in your position, particularly married to somebody who’s struggling with addiction, would be struggling. Anyone would be. It’s okay for you not to have your future figured out. It’s okay for you to sit there and debate whether you should leave or you should stay. 

It’s okay for you to worry about if they’re never going to get sober. And it’s okay for you to worry about if this relationship is going to last. All of that is okay. And you don’t need to fix it today. You don’t need to work harder, grind harder, or learn more. 

You can let go of beating yourself up for not having the answers yet. 

Here’s the truth: You have figured it out. 

You have all the tools, you know everything you need to know, and if you don’t, you’ll learn eventually. For now, I’m giving you permission to just take a break, lay it all down, love where you are and who you are right now. I give you permission to stop trying so hard.

It’s going to be okay. I promise you whether you choose to stay or not, it’s going to be okay. You’ll figure it out. The answers will come. Just relax and just trust in the process, but most importantly, trust yourself because the person who works the hardest doesn’t always succeed. So sit back and enjoy the ride you’re on because there are tons of lessons to be learned here right now. 

And stop equating working hard with guaranteed success. Lots of people work very, very hard, and still fail, and that’s okay. 

Remember that we’re here for you. We understand what you’re going through. You’re not alone. Thank you for being here as part of this community.

How do I fix my relationship with an alcoholic?

The best things you can do in your relationship are to actually focus more on yourself and less on your partner. That may sound counterintuitive, but this is the truth.

Sometimes when we focus to much on our partners we can actually hurt them by enabling them. When we spend that time and energy on ourselves, we can build up our self-confidence and do things we enjoy doing, regardless of our partners choices.

If you practice this and give this process time, you will start to see changes in your relationship.

How can I help my partner get sober?

The truth is that a person will only get sober when they feel a deep sense from within. No external influence, you or otherwise, will impact their desire to get sober.

The best practices you can implement are to stop enabling and focus on yourself. If you haven’t already, review our 12 tips to make sure you’re doing your part when it comes to your partner being sober.

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used her experience to create powerful resources for women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.

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