Communicating Needs


I knew when I woke up this morning that I was feeling out of sorts.  I have a cold, nothing major, just feeling a bit under the weather.  I looked outside and saw a day that matched my mood, it was cloudy and grey and there was something falling from the sky.  Rain?  Freezing rain maybe?  Snow?  Perhaps hail?  It was sleet.  I was glad that I didn’t have to go anywhere, but what I really wanted to do was crawl back under the covers and go back to sleep.  I could’ve really.  I mean, my kids are old enough to fend for themselves for a bit.  But, I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back to sleep anyway and there was stuff that needed to be done…schooling, housework, etc.  Yes, yes, I had an exciting day planned, so I had better get moving.

I sent Michael a text, as I do every morning that he’s not home when I awake.  It was just a simple “Good morning” and he quickly replied with the same.  I went on about my day as I’m sure he went on about his.  I felt a little better as my morning wore on, at least as far as my cold was concerned.  But, my mood hadn’t really followed suit.  At 11:30 I was surprised with another text from Michael “I love you!  Hope you got some rest and have a great day.”  I replied back “Thanks sweetie, I hope your day is going well too.  I love you!”  I was avoiding telling him that my day wasn’t going so well thus far.  I didn’t want my mood to affect him and his day.  We exchanged a few more texts and ended with “I miss you” and “I miss you too!”  I just saw him Tuesday evening, so it hasn’t even been that long, but I am really missing him today.  A little after noon I got brave and sent Michael another text, “I think I’m going to need something from you today.  I can feel those emotions building inside.  I just wanted to give you a heads up.  <3”  He replied “I’ll start thinking about it now.  ;)” and I sent back “Thanks sweetie.”  I wonder what he’ll ask of me, what he’ll want me to do for him.

I have a tendency to think or wish Michael was a mind reader sometimes.  A lot of us women seem to think that way actually.  If our spouse or significant other really loved us, if they really understood us, if they were in tune with us the way they should be, if they really cared, they’d just know.  But, it doesn’t work that way.  Men are not mind readers.  And actually, neither are women.  We also have a tendency to think we know what that special person in our life is thinking or how they’re feeling.  I know I’ve tried to decide for my husband how he really feels sometimes.  For instance, if he failed to follow through with maintenance, it must be because he doesn’t really want to do this, he’s not committed to it, he views me as a burden, etc.  When in reality, he was just tired and didn’t motivate himself to do what he needed to do.  It had little to do with me, except that I was the person who felt let down or neglected.

I got to thinking about why I decided to tell Michael that I needed something from him today.  I mean, he’s not home and we haven’t talked on the phone yet today, so it would be pretty hard for him to figure out that I was out of sorts if I hadn’t said anything.  And if you noticed, I didn’t actually say anything until after he sent me a text and we had a nice little text conversation.  I wonder, would I have said anything if he hadn’t sent me that text?  I’d like to think I would have, but I bet it if I had it wouldn’t have been until much later in the day even if I did tell him.  The thing of it is, I feel better just having told him.  And I did it in a way that didn’t make him feel badly or affect his day; at least I hope that’s the case.  I guess I told him because I realized that these emotions weren’t just going away and that they’d probably just get worse as the day wore on.  I didn’t want to be in such a bad place by tonight when I talk to him that we wouldn’t have a good conversation.  I cherish those conversations in the evening, especially when we’re both in a good place and we can spend a little while on the phone with one another.  If the weather is nice, I sometimes go outside on the deck or go for a little walk while we talk.  And if the weather isn’t so nice, then I often close myself in our bedroom and lay on our bed while we talk.  Pillow talk long distance isn’t quite the same as in person, but it’s still nice.  I also told him because he wants me to rely on him.  He wants to be here for me, even if he's not physically here.  He can't do that if I don't let him know what's going on or how I'm feeling.

This communication thing is something we’re both working on.  Before we starting doing ttwd we’d gotten to the point that communication was iffy at best.  Often we were either arguing or not talking at all.  It had gotten really bad.  I’m not sure how we got to that point, but I guess it was a combination of things…the stress of life and us not making each other and our marriage a priority.  We were just trying to get through it all, but we certainly weren’t relying on one another.  Communication is so important.  I think it’s one of the cornerstones of a good marriage.  I mean, really, where are you without it?  You may as well be fumbling along in the dark.  Good communication isn’t easy though.  Sometimes you may have to bite your tongue and not say the first thing that pops into your head.  And other times you may have to really dig deep and be brave enough to talk about something that leaves you feeling pretty vulnerable.

So, I’m curious, do you feel you’re communicating better since incorporating DD into your dynamic?  Has DD helped you to be able to communicate better with one another?  Are you at a stage where you feel you can be open and vulnerable with each other or is that something you’re working toward?

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