How to Tell Your Partner to Slow Down Without Holding Them Back

My partner is very driven – she is the most hard-working person I know and is a rising tide that lifts all boats around her. She also has endometriosis and associated symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, painful periods, GI issues, and hormonal imbalances. These two aspects of her are often in competition, and she battles against these symptoms to be a successful entrepreneur and endometriosis ally. This added challenge, on top of being self-employed and a perfectionist, can really take its toll on her and eventually leads to burn-out.

My role as a partner

As her partner and an observer, I feel some responsibility to make sure that she doesn’t burn out, but I also don’t want to hinder the progress she is making - progress that she already feels has taken a hit because of endometriosis. I also don’t want to set limits on what I think she can do, and what she thinks I think she can do.

Spotting the signs of fatigue and brain fog

It is, therefore, really important that I have an open communication with my partner about this, and an intimate and evolving understanding and appreciation of what she has to say. Communication is key because it allows me to voice concerns about her working too hard and burning out, and for her to hear my concerns. I don’t know her as well as she knows herself, and there’s no way I can know what she feels when she’s battling through her fatigue and brain fog. I do, however, have years of experience of being in a relationship with her and can recognize signs of her burning out, so that’s puts us as partners in a valuable position.

I try to make sure that I don’t impose limits on what she can do, whether I voice them or not. I want to facilitate her in being her best self, and sometimes that means telling her I think she should consider slowing down, but other times it’s just trusting that she’s got this.

How I can help

Both parties have responsibilities in relationships, and one of those responsibilities is to look out for each other’s health. Another is to elevate the other person, and the intersection of those two responsibilities is what we are talking about. I hold some responsibility for lifting my partner up and helping her be the best version of herself, and also making sure she is healthy. This can be a fine line with someone with endometriosis, which is all the more reason that communication and openness is so important.

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