Guilt, Control and Identity

Guilt, Control and Identity

 Three things that have resonated with me throughout my recent journey –

guilt, control and identity.


When we are the primary earner in the family, as women, we feel guilty all the time.

We can’t be there to see our children achieve milestones (school trips etc).

We can’t be the full time nurturer so we feel that we are a bad parent.

A turning point in a relationship is when a woman starts earning more than a man. This can lead to feeling like you have taken over the power in the relationship and this can lead to the male partner losing their mojo and perhaps giving up. This is what happened to me. 

When this happens, we find ourselves wanting to control more, to try and get our partner to step up but usually what happens is that they step off and they start withdrawing emotionally.

At this point the partnership starts disintegrating.

I feel guilt because I wonder why did I get it so wrong? How can someone who is successful and smart stay in such an unhealthy and destructive relationship?

We also want to take the blame for the relationship dynamic because we feel responsible for it.

We overcompensate everywhere except on ourselves.

We justify the behaviour by thinking it’s about the kids, however, it’s never about the kids.


Often we don’t know we are in a manipulative relationship until we are out of it. We can be easily controlled through our emotions and our lifestyle choices. If I wanted to go out for a night – he would make an excuse to not go out and I would feel guilty, then resentful. This also happens in the work environment where someone dictates.


Women can feel the ache and this leads to losing our identity.

As women we tend to change the focus from ourselves to others and making sure that everyone is healthy, happy and connected. But this over time comes at a personal cost. The personal cost is a slow tiny ache that starts to manifest in your gut. It shows up from time to time – it’s like something is missing but you can’t put your finger on it. And because it doesn’t show up all the time – we tend to dismiss it.

Over time however the ache becomes stronger and stronger until we have no choice but to address it. We try to overcompensate in other areas by doing more and more for others in the hope that it will just go away so we can feel better.

It’s at this point we start to feel we have lost our identity. Some of the traits that can occur are weight gain, recurring health issues that just don’t seem to want to go away, becoming tired and lethargic, lack of drive or motivation, increase in drinking alcohol and low physical intimacy – just to name a few.

We don’t laugh any more. We don’t feel joy or feel satisfied. We can start to withdraw and become isolated and sad. We ponder and wonder whether this is our lot. We feel like we are done. There’s nothing left to give. We don’t say what we really mean. We become dishonest with ourselves.

So what’s going on? It’s simple. It’s our own identity. It’s been dormant for so long that it needs to come out. The slow ache becomes over time a strong knock on the door. It keeps knocking until you take notice. One of the reasons we don’t take notice is because we feel fear that something big may change and it’s usually the state of our current relationship. Why should we let it out?

The crazy thing is that this is WHO we are. We have an energetic imprint – that’s our DNA and if we can’t be our own human being – if we shut it out or down – we shut down our own uniqueness and brilliance. If we let it out and awaken to owning it, the crazy thing is that we become so much happier. Yes – we may make some different decisions about life and what we are doing, but these are the decisions that impact everyone around us anyway.

People want to see us full of zest for life, reclaiming our brilliance and owning who we are. We find life becomes so much better. To stay with the knocking is limiting yourself.

If you are going through a similar experience, book a complimentary chat to see if I can help you – 0800 607 793



Rebecca Morris

Rebecca set up Paradigm Shift in 2011 because in her corporate career she repeatedly observed leaders choosing to let chaos reign rather than work out strategies for effective change. Or put simply – poor leadership.

With a background in educational psychology, roles as CEO, sales executive, business coach, business owner and teacher, Rebecca uses her proven experience and insights along with her practical tool box to get results.

Rebecca observes human behaviour and associated patterns and enables leaders to become present to their patterns through her IP, Observational Intelligence (OI). Rebecca uses her 'cycle of interruption' approach to interrupt, innovate and lead from new paradigms creating collectively powerful leaders and culture-safe organisations.

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