Do you know what gets me hot and breathing heavy?
Seeing the stainless steel of my trash bin shiny without streaks.
Seems easy enough, right?
I shared this little tidbit of info with my partner and now he makes sure it is shiny all the time. How easy!
I mentioned that I felt like I was the only one taking out the recycling and trash and guess what? He has made an extra effort to help with not only that but also making lunches and feeding our children. He has stepped up in so many ways mainly because I asked.
For years In this relationship, I have puffed up and stomped around hoping someone could read my mind. I have held in my frustrations and been passive-aggressive. I expected others to know what I needed at all times.
Some of us may have grown up in homes where conversations didn’t flow easily. Where the relationships we witnessed were sub-par. We didn’t learn how to ask for what we needed and when we did we were shut down and made to feel inferior or inadequate in some way. We learned to cower when it came to asking for what we needed and I for one sought to meet my own needs without ever having to ask for help and worse get rejected when I asked.
As an adult, I was lucky to spend some years in Al-Anon where I learned about Codependency. Codependency is a fancy word for depending on someone else for your happiness and wholeness. It creates a state in us where we feed off of others moods and if someone is unhappy with us then so are we. We aren’t filled up by our own self-love and instead depend on someone else to nurture us and if they don’t (which is often) we are left feeling empty, deserted, and alone.
We are seeking fulfillment from others and a lot of time it is like drinking from an empty well.
Over the years instead of huffing and puffing, slamming doors, and stomping around, I have learned to stop and find the root of my anger or frustration. I have learned to calmly and completely explain how I feel and then ask for what I may be needing in this situation. Does that mean I always get it?
No, but it means I am no longer expecting people to read my mind and I am taking care of myself. I am voicing my needs and desires and for us, my husband wiping down the trash bin hasn’t been too difficult for him, but I notice and it makes me feel loved, heard, and validated.
Many of us walk around with resentments over seemingly small things. We feel a twinge of anger and dismiss it as not a big deal, but pretty soon all of these small things roll into a giant ball of anger, resentment and creates a distance between me and my relationship.
There is a connection between what happens in the bedroom and what happens in the kitchen.
I am here to say that intimacy starts way before we hit the sheets and those little things throughout the day can create freedom in me. I feel safe and heard and connected with my partner. I am no longer keeping score and looking for ways to retaliate.
Feeling loved is an inside job, but when we are disrespected or not heard all the self-love in the world can’t bring us peace in a one-sided relationship. It does take two to tango and men aren’t mind readers.
Let’s continue to work on ourselves and make sure we have partners that are in it for the long haul. Do we have common goals and interests? Are we both trying to make things better and not stay stuck in the same cycles? It takes effort to change but it is possible.
About the Creator
Author of Let Your Privates Breathe-Breaking the Cycle of Addiction and Family Dysfunction. Available at The Black Hat Press: