The Archetypal Whinging Feminine

The Archetypal Whinging Feminine
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Recently, I found myself at odds with my partner. We’d descended into some sticky conversations about needs not being met where I wasn’t feeling heard and he felt like he couldn’t win. 😢

The end of last year was a real sprint for me in the work department, and truth be told I’d slipped into not caring for myself well. My boundaries with work hours had gone out the window, I wasn’t moving my body enough and the tone of my attention towards myself wasn’t warm and kind when I needed it to be.

That had left me starting 2024 in a pretty depleted space in myself, and I’d begun to unconsciously reach to Philip to fill me up.

Which was great when he was available to meet me!  But, when he couldn’t or wouldn’t, it was like a direct hit to some of my core wounds about not being wanted.

The tone in our relationship and household for a few weeks there was pretty brittle…

This dance is SO COMMON.  She feels unmet, unheard, unimportant.  He feels exhausted, berated, and wants to distance himself as a result.

 

The popular cultural narrative in response to this dance criticises men for being emotionally unavailable, avoidant or otherwise ‘wrong’.

The popular cultural narrative in response to this defends the depleted feminine – after all, tropes about the ‘Nagging Wife’ aren’t exactly aspirational!

“I wouldn’t need to nag if he listened and did what he was told!”

“I wouldn’t complain if he just did as I asked.”

 

Such familiar justifications…

Yet, they keep the women who say them stuck in righteousness, closed off to and frustrated with the people they love and ultimately, hurting.

 

Today, I want to point out where the archetype of the ‘Whinging Woman’ or the ‘Nagging Wife’ are very real.

Because as women, if we truly want to be met, satisfied and overjoyed in our relationships, we’ve GOT to take responsibility for our role in this dance.

 

Men (and the masculine) have their own corresponding archetype of apathy, which is theirs to challenge, but that’s not for today’s post.

See, the tricky thing is, some of the needs I had that weren’t being met, were very valid.  It was totally okay that I was feeling hurt and disappointed, it was a reasonable response, in fact!

So it LOOKS like I’m totally justified in my complaints…

 

But the problem was that I was personalising my partner not being able to meet them, and doing nothing to meet them in myself.

My own metaphoric ‘cup’ was depleted, and instead of pouring my warmth, love, attention and touch into myself, I was waiting for him to do it for me, then feeling devastated when he didn’t.

This circuitry and state keeps women (and the feminine) trapped in depletion, in stories of not being wanted or loved, in a state of not being able to see the goodness in the men in her life, and with a closed heart.

It HURTS to live like this.

 

And when you stay in this disparaged state, the only ways to proceed are to get louder with your demands, while feeling less valued and heard and more frustrated and resentful; or close down your heart and withdraw yourself in protection.

Ironically, the fully nourished, overflowing in generosity, gratitude and abundance feminine is the very energy that calls the masculine to WANT to meet us as women, fill us and ravish us. She magnetises, inspires and delights.

 

But it’s YOUR job to take yourself there.

He can’t do it for you!

 

No amount of nagging, complaining, asking sweetly, getting angry or any of your other favourite ‘moves’ will work here, because actually, even if he shows up fully, there’s something in the very energetic nature of the depleted feminine that means this pattern of ‘not enough’ will ALWAYS find somewhere to play out.

 

I’m grateful that with the support of one of my coaches I saw what was playing out and have walked the path back to my own internal fullness enough times that I was able to change gears quickly and rectify what was happening IN ME.

Low and behold, I feel different, the tone in our connection changes, and my partner shows up differently…in all the ways that I wanted him to before.

But now he’s genuinely inspired, because I’m coming to him FULL.

And when he can’t meet me there, it’s no longer a reflection on me, no longer a reason to close my heart and withdraw or grasp at him. It’s simply a moment in time in a lifetime of moments we’ve committed to sharing together.

If you notice yourself in this dance in your partnership, here are my questions for you to ponder:

  • What are you making it mean ABOUT YOU when he doesn’t meet your needs? What story is this affirming about yourself?

 

  • How does it feel in your body to believe that story about yourself?

 

  • What are the ways you’re currently reinforcing this story to yourself? Are you indulging in hurting yourself by replaying painful moments over and over in your mind? Are you being unkind to yourself?

 

  • Objectively, what’s going on for him right now that has nothing to do with you? Is he stressed? Having a hard time financially? Whats happening in his world? (This isn’t an excuse, its a chance to stop making his behaviour about you, so you can turn towards yourself.)

 

  • What are three things you can do for yourself TODAY that FEEL GOOD? Is it a slow bath tonight? Having some fun connection time with a girlfriend? Going to be in nature? Putting on some music and moving your body?
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Never underestimate the power of your past. Because it’s not in the past. It’s here in this living moment with you – woven into your responses, choices and perceptions; baked into your nervous system and psyche through and reinforcement and repetition.

That doesn’t mean your past has to define you, not at all.

Though, you’re lying to yourself if you say ‘its in the past’, yet have done no work to clear the ripples of that past from your system to create space for something new.

Yesterday, in a session with my coach, I went ‘back in time’ to the end of 2020, when I went through an experience that was somewhat challenging for me.

Here is a sublime example

Despite acknowledging the challenge at the time, I realised looking back that I hadn’t fully resolved or digested what happened there.

Part of me stayed frozen in that experience, and on the subtlest of levels, I have gotten in my own way unconsciously ever since.

That past experience was with me in every moment. It informed my capacity and energy levels, choices and perceptions.

And this is how the past shapes us – you have experiences that your system ‘learns’ from, and you then – often completely unconsciously – adjust accordingly to avoid repeating painful or difficult events.

We are such clever adaptive creatures.

But, those ‘adaptations’ will inadvertently shape your behaviour, attitudes, thoughts and feelings in a way that can begin to inhibit your ability to fully show up for your business or career, relationships, and life in general.

If you bring the process of ‘learning’ from these past experiences into consciousness, you gift yourself the chance to mine the gold from the past, get the learnings and gifts link example: and then move forward with your life.

„ QUOTE DESIGN: I CALL THIS PROCESS ‘DIGESTING’ YOUR PAST EXPERIENCES, AND HAVE SPECIFIC PRACTICES I TEACH TO SUPPORT YOU TO DO THIS.“

I call this process ‘digesting’ your past experiences, and have specific practices I teach to support you to do this.

The challenges of the past – and your adaptations – can become like a cage you find yourself living in if you’re not aware, but this digestion process ensures your continued liberation…

Which past experiences do you need to free yourself from?

And this is how the past shapes us – you have experiences that your system ‘learns’ from, and you then – often completely unconsciously – adjust accordingly to avoid repeating painful or difficult events.

We are such clever adaptive creatures.

But, those ‘adaptations’ will inadvertently shape your behaviour, attitudes, thoughts and feelings in a way that can begin to inhibit your ability to fully show up for your business or career, relationships, and life in general.

If you bring the process of ‘learning’ from these past experiences into consciousness, you gift yourself the chance to mine the gold from the past, get the learnings.

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