I remember when I was newly married with three small boys, I was often frustrated when my husband didn’t do the things that I thought would really help me. I expected a mind reader. Guess what? None of us, no matter how well we communicate, can read our partner’s minds. One partner often has the stance “if he/she really loved me he’d know what I want”. Well, if you’re in sync, and you have great communication that may happen more often, but it really isn’t fair. As women or men we take BACK our power when we ask for what we need. Yes, we empower ourselves and we strengthen our partnerships. Anger destroys trust, goodwill and any strengthening. You might feel vindicated, but it gets you only momentary relief. And the relationship worsens. Ask yourself “what do I want here?”
Here’s a specific example of what I mean: (insert any common request/need into the parenthesis)
“It would really help me tonight if you’d (give the kids their baths, read bedtime stories, take Jimmy to soccer). I know you’re tired too, but if I could get the (laundry, bills, cleaning, mowing, car wash) done while you’re doing that, we might have an hour once they get to bed to spend some quality time together. I miss the quiet before we had kids when we could just talk. I miss being a couple.”
VERSUS the ambush, which is unfortunately, what many of us revert to:
“I cannot believe you can come home and plop yourself down in front of (Facebook, a beer, TV, Video Game, Football, Basketball, newspaper, paperwork…..) when it should be clear to you I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off! I may not work (as many hours, outside the home, as important a job), but I am just as busy!”
or better yet, you don’t say anything, but let your anger fester, your partner is clueless, you get in bed, he/she wants to cuddle, talk or be intimate and your fangs come out.
“I’m exhausted! How can you even THINK of approaching me?!? Get away from me, I don’t need one more thing on my “to do” list!”.
I think variations of this occur in marriages all the time. And it often is the worst when our children are little. I was reminded of this scenario recently when I read my “Daily Pilot Light”. Dr. Lissa Rankin has a website and I get a daily e-mail from her called “Your Inner Pilot Light“. She believes we need to honor the deepest part of our soul, the God that is in all of us (or higher power, or whatever you’re comfortable with). That self love comes first, and we have the power to love deeper, heal ourselves and be happy. I often find that if I take the time each day to read what she sends out, it helps ground me. So does taking time for myself, even if I can carve out 20 minutes.
One of her recent daily e-mails is worth sharing:
Do you expect people to be mind readers?Do you feel loved if they automatically do what will make you happy without requiring you to ask?If so, I’d venture to guess you wind up disappointed – a lot.Why not make it easy on everyone? Why not make yourself vulnerable, ask for what you need, grant permission for the person to say no, and see what happens?Nine times out of ten, the people you love are dying to please you – they just don’t know how. When you ask, you give them a gift, a road map of how to make you smile.Not sure what will make you happy? Ask your inner pilot, your soul, your conscience, that part of you where God resides.Try it.