Anyone who wants to be treated like royalty has issues. They have the same maturity as the little girls who throw a tantrum because they want the Elsa dress at the Disney store. They don’t want a man, they want a servant who keeps them on a pedestal.
If you’re looking for a woman to treat like a princess, you have issues. Do you want an emotionally mature partner who can competently manage her life, or a petulant child who can’t manage anything so you can feel like a hero, stronger, healthier, saner, etc., than her? Until that gets old, of course. And it usually gets real old, real fast.
Being a “hero” vs. being an enabler.
Narcissists and other forms of Crazy, regardless of gender, want willing enablers. Or, what some men call being a “hero.” Being an enabler is not heroic. It’s a shit job with diminishing benefits. Cleaning up a woman’s financial irresponsibility, dramas, refusal to manage daily life chores, etc., aren’t acts of “heroism.” That’s being someone’s life janitor/personal assistant. Is it heroic to be a doormat?
Furthermore, the world is full of willing, codependent doormats. You are easily replaceable, not special in this respect.
If you need to feel like a hero, it’s important to identify what psychological need you’re trying to fill. Were you your dysfunctional, mentally ill or alcoholic mother’s “hero?” Are you insecure and need an immature and chaotic partner in order to feel strong and better about yourself?
Healthier women don’t want men who are doormats or need them to be weak and incompetent, so you can feel strong. An emotionally mature, competent woman wants a partner who is equally mature and competent. That’s not to say healthier women don’t want/need the support of a partner, but it’s a mutual two-way street.
Ideally, healthy partners become each other’s heroes and have each other’s backs. For example, if you’re stuck in a work meeting, your partner happily picks up your brother at the airport. Or, if your partner sucks at parallel parking (like me), that becomes your act of heroism.
To be clear, repeatedly rescuing someone from their self-inflicted self-destructive behaviors isn’t heroic. It’s enabling and, ultimately, a suicide mission.
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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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