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Unhappy with spouse because he attempts to manage my work for me

Asked by Female, 34, Married
My spouse attempts to micromanage my work all the time. I am a little self-centered and I prefer to do my work without any interference.
Answer
Thumb komal
Komal
Counseling Psychologist

A successful marriage entails that both partners understand how the other functions and are aware of their preferences. Having someone micromanage, especially your spouse who you live with under the same roof, can get really frustrating. We all like and prefer at least a bit of our own space and freedom in our relationships.

When we advise or when our partner advises, it usually is with the intention of helping out. However, too much of it conveys to the other that they do not believe enough in you to be able to manage the work by yourself. This can create a rift and give way to frequent unresolved conflicts in the relationship if not addressed appropriately.

I understand your concerns and it would help for you to find an appropriate time to have an honest conversation with him about what's bothering you. While attempting to do so, it is important that we convey our concerns sensitively and not in a way that conveys blame, frustration or anger. That is likely to escalate things in an undesirable direction.

You can start a conversation by saying "Honey, I would like to speak to you about something that has been bothering me since a while now but was worried how you might take it. I understand that you like to advise me over my work with the intent to benefit and help me. However, it also makes me feel that you do not believe in me to be able to get it done by myself. I want you to trust me in my abilities and show support by giving me my space and freedom to do things my way. Let's try and figure out a way that works for the both of us. How about we try that this week and talk about how it went for us in the week after? I would love to know what you think and how you feel about this."

The tone and choice of words matters a lot in a conversation and decides how the other might take it. Speaking in a manner as expressed above will reflect that you were being sensitive about his feelings and are open to considering his thoughts as well. Beginning by showing appreciation for his intention puts the air to ease and makes it easier to have what might seem as a difficult conversation. This will make him feel heard and also be willing to work through it with you.

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