Why you want to nurture, not caretake… (VIDEO)


It is very easy for us to get sucked into taking care of others, especially our immediate lovies and specially if we are sensitive and caring people… The challenge is that when we caretake, we actually disempower the other. A byproduct that is obviously not our intention.

When we do for others what they can do (or should be able to do) for themselves we are robbing them of the opportunity for self-agency, independence, personal power, growth and so on. You want to nurture, not caretake…

The challenge is that it might not be so easy to differentiate between nurturing and caretaking. Of course, we want to do things for, support and take care of our lovies. So how do we tell the difference.

The difference has to do with the motive behind your actions. You probably have good intentions in both instances, but the motives are different…

The motive has to do with why you are doing the action, your logic. Take a look at your reasoning and see if you are:

  1. Rescuing
  2. Fixing
  3. Doing it to get it done
  4. Not allowing the other to do it
  5. Taking over
  6. Not allowing collaboration
  7. Doing without considering the other
  8. Doing it for you even if it is not yours
  9. Over doing it
  10. Doing it at your expense

You might talk yourself into doing it to make life easier… You might say, Somebody has to do it.

  • It is easier to just take care of something if the other is not doing it.
  • It is easier to just take care of something than have to wait for it to get done.
  • It is easier to just take care of something if you don’t want the other’s input.
  • It is easier to just take care of something to avoid conflict.
  • It is easier to just take care of something to help the other along.
  • It is easier to just take care of something if the other won’t honor your preferences.
  • And so on…

These are instances of not fully owning ourselves and of owning the other, of manipulating, and of not operating on the up and up… This is operating from our lower-self…

When we don’t fully own ourselves and squander our personal power by not minding our business and minding the other’s business instead, we are not doing anybody any favors- least of all ourselves!

A lot of times a conversation would take care of a lot of these things, but instead of having a possible uncomfortable conversation, expressing our needs, making requests, problem solving together, addressing concerns and the like, we prefer to bypass all that and manipulate behind the scenes…

We don’t have the courage to have a voice and actually take care of ourselves properly… We might believe at some level that we are not worthy of having a reciprocal relationship…

And, when we assume the other’s needs, preferences, abilities, intentions, motives, and such, we don’t allow for the other to have a voice, show up and do for themselves either.

When we over-function, we don’t allow for the other to be there for us- and then we complain we have to do it all…

This caretaking of the other which gets in the way of taking care of ourselves and of them taking care of themselves and being there for us, is the cornerstone of a Codependency pattern

There is nothing nurturing and loving about all this. This is based on fear, ego, illusions, defenses, identity, attachments.  This is about habits and addictions. This is about patterns. This is about getting in our own way- this is how we sabotage our relationship and our life…

This is not the formula we want to follow if we are to create our radiant, successful relationship and meaningful life.

The formula we do want to follow has to do with: Taking full ownership of ourselves, with setting effective boundaries, with addressing our scripts, our narrative, our patterns, with appropriately taking care of our needs and intentionally and mindfully relating with our partner, with embracing expansiveness and connecting practices, with showing up from our higher-self…

Nurturing ourselves and our partner is a heart-centered endeavor, whereas caretaking is “nurturing” from ego and it’s codependence

Let’s be more intentional about how we nurture ourselves and our partner to create the shifts we are looking for the relationship and life we desire…


Watch the video for learning about not confusing caretaking for nurturing… Enjoy!



APPLICATION: It might be that all this time you thought you were being nice by taking care of the bulk of responsibilities and needs in the relationship and for your partner, when in truth it might have been holding your relationship back from its full potential…

~ Take note of how your lifestyle and your relationship flow- who takes care of the responsibilities, who makes sure the other partner is ok, who makes things happen, who takes care of things…

~ Take note how you feel about each of the above, whether you are doing the caretaking or your partner… You might both be… This is still codependent and disempowering even if you are both overfunctioning in your own way…  

~ Take note of where you are overfunctioning and underfuntioning…

~ Choose a behavior from each side that you’ll work on addressing and moderating…

~ Discuss your learnings and ahas with your partner, and invite them to explore this for themselves as well

To create your New You, your New Relationship, and your New Life as you keep going in your Journey, the key is to fully own your side of the equation and make the changes that are within your sphere of influence.


Stay focused on transcending your lower-self and embracing your higher-self…

Wishing you all the joy, connection and love today and always…

With Much Love & Light!


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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and the Successful Couple Strategy™ that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly connection notes in your inbox with Personal Development and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com

About Emma

Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT has been in the mental health profession in varying capacities for the past 20+ years. She is the Founder and Director of MetroRelationship.com a psychotherapy and coaching practice specializing in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial couples who are struggling getting on the same page and feeling connected. The work helps couples create a radiant and successful relationship and meaningful life by becoming a strong partnership and increasing their connection, intimacy, and fun. Emma is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and the Successful Relationship Strategy™.

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