When your partner isn't supportive of your ballet...May 04, 2023
We're going to tackle a tricky one today!
And the reason why I think this is an important topic to cover is because since releasing my 12 Week Adult Ballet Course I have met some amazing women (and men) from all around the world who don't have supportive partners when it comes to their dream of pursuing ballet.
We all need supporters in life and we all need those closest to us to maybe not understand but at least support activities, dreams and goals we may have. And while some are lucky enough to have a supportive partner at home, that’s a fantasy for others.
So, what do you do when your spouse or partner doesn’t encourage your efforts to live a healthy and fulfilled life and dive into your ballet goals and dreams?
Sometimes it’s even worse than indifference, with a partner seeming to work against you. And, if you’re in that situation or fear you might be, please know that I am so sorry. No one should have to do this alone.
The good news is, you’re NOT alone! I’m here to help you, and so are countless other people. This particular topic is one of the reasons why I love that the Balanced Ballerinas communities exists - so everyone feels seen, heard and supported. The BB community is full of people you may know already, and some you haven’t met yet. But believe me, everyone in this beautiful community is rooting for you. Including me!
Here are my tips to stay motivated even when your partner is letting you down.
Be clear about what you’re doing, why it’s important to you, and how they can help. Do you need an occasional word of encouragement? Do you need your husband to do the dinner, bath and bed routine on Tuesday nights so you can simply attend one evening ballet class?
In your explanation of wanting to pursue ballet classes, your partner might think you need a private coach, vegan chef, and 24/7 cheerleader, but support is much more simple than that.
If after explaining that you only require simple support and you can’t get even basic support, then you’re better off accepting them for who and where they are. Complaining won’t help. Neither will playing the victim, so don’t. In fact, this will probably make it worse and then when you finally get to a class you'll feel guilty.
My biggest piece of advice in this situation is... YOU DO YOU
It’s OK to have your own priorities and pursue them, even if someone else feels inconvenienced or neglected. Remember, you can’t control how someone else feels. And it's not your responsibility to make someone else happy. You need to fill your own cup up first and inspire those around you to do the same - which subsequently means everyone ends up happier.
In the case of the unsupportive partner, seek support and encouragement elsewhere. Find a ballet buddy or a colleague who’s willing to go to class with you. Join group classes, where everyone looks out for each other. And enjoy communicating with like-minded individuals online.
As you all know, I'm also a huge fan of journaling and encourage my students (especially in my online courses) to write in your journal. It could be a mix of basic reporting on your progress and emotions, or just one facet of it all. That’s YOUR record. It can also be YOUR resource.
I also want you to set boundaries and stick to them. If your partner tells you they are busy on Tuesday evening and won't be able to take care of the children whilst you go for your ballet class, tell them that's their problem to figure out because you've already pre-paid for your class and would hate to waste money.
Sometimes a partner might feel left out when we take on new habits or focus on things that don’t interest them. Include them in a funny story from class. Ask if they want to come see a live performance with you. Show them how to do a plié and laugh hysterically together whilst they attempt.
The reason why I want you to seek support, not permission is because once you start pursuing something you've always wanted to do, your partner will see how happy it makes you. When the result is happiness, better posture, endorphins rushing through your body when you come home from class they will see how valuable and beneficial this is to you AND themselves.
Your journey is your own. And, really, that can be SO EMPOWERING! So I urge anyone in the BB community who listens to the podcast, interacts with myself and other members online or has been thinking about attending a class or committing to that online course to just dive in!
Remember, you're seeking support - NOT permission. This is so important. No partnership is perfect and that's why I'm not saying 'leave them!' and find a new partner. Instead we have to accept them for who they are and rework our own mindset around the situation.
This is a topic I've wanted to discuss for quite some time now so I hope it helps!
Peace & Pliés,
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