Saying that little two letter word has always been a struggle for me. I don’t like to disappoint or upset people, as a result, I often find myself in situations that I really don’t have the time or the energy to be in. Now that I am divorced, I find myself doing the same thing with my ex-husband. My fear of conflict often causes me to give in to the inconvenience of the things he asks on a regular basis. “I have plans tonight, can I get him now instead?” Well, of course. “I got off work early and don’t want to drive home, can I come three hours early today?” Sure. Why not?
It is a curse that I fight against constantly. Even though I am across town and have a million more things to do, I can’t seem to bring myself to say, “No.” It is a big problem and it has to stop. My mother has referred to me as a “pathological pleaser” from the time I was a little girl. I aim to please the people around me and often shove my own personal needs aside. This inevitably leads to a life of unhappiness. You have to take care of yourself in order to find joy. Sometimes that means learning to say, “No.”
By no means am I advocating a life without compromise. If your ex asks you if he can pick up the kids a few hours early every once in a while and you don’t have anything planned, certainly there is nothing wrong with changing the schedule for the night. However, if you are having lunch with your friend across town, and would have to cut your visit short in order for him to take them, you certainly shouldn’t feel obligated to do so. Stand up for yourself in these situations. It may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but in the end you will find yourself feeling a completeness that comes from doing the right thing for you in your life.