Have you ever been micromanaged by a parent, boss, teacher…or your spouse? If so, you know what it feels like…they’ve asked you to do something, but while you’re working on it, you’re being constantly monitored and judged to see if you are doing the work correctly and fast enough! Did having someone breathing down your neck motivate you or make you resentful of being controlled?
Now, be honest. Do you routinely micromanage your spouse? For example:
- Do you ask your husband to do something, and then follow up to make sure he has started and is doing things right?
- Do you ever “assign a task” and then hover over him, giving him all sorts of “helpful suggestions?”
- Do you get mad and redo work your husband already completed because it doesn’t meet your standards, and you know you can do it better?
- Do you have trouble relaxing and staying out of the way when your husband is in charge of taking care of something?
- Do you feel like you can’t trust your husband and must follow up on everything he does because he’s not very detail oriented?
The ability to actively control details may sometimes be useful when managing people, projects, and deadlines at work. However, you must be careful not to emasculate your husband by attempting to micromanage his every move at home.
If you don’t watch this behavior, chances are he will feel:
- You don’t trust him
- You think he’s stupid
- Unmotivated to do his best
End result: he’s turned off from you and is less likely to help!
If you are seeking a true partnership with your spouse, respect and boundaries are critical. Here are a few tips to stop micromanaging behavior in its tracks:
- If it’s not yours, don’t touch it. If your husband is working on something, remove yourself physically and mentally from the task. Work on your own tasks and leave him alone to complete his as he likes.
- Remember there’s more than one way to do something. People have different approaches they bring to the same situation. Be flexible. It’s not the end of the world if he didn’t do it your way.
- Turn negatives into positives. When you feel like criticizing, intruding, or giving a “helpful hint,” breathe and either walk away or say something encouraging. You have to catch destructive behavior in its tracks before it hurts your marriage.
- Relax! if you can truly break the micromanaging habit, your spouse will probably become more confident and competent, allowing both of you to truly share the numerous household and childcare tasks that present themselves on a daily basis.