Monday, February 08, 2010

I can ask for what i want

What i am learning from people who are paid to teach us this stuff:

I didn't think i had the right to ask him to change his behavior just because it was a problem for me. I kept trying to get him to see that it was a problem for him.

And that never worked, because, i guess, it was not a problem for him, even though i thought it was. In fact, i thought it very clearly was a problem for him. I felt frustrated because he would not see that. I thought he was being stubborn. But he was perfectly happy with what he was doing.

But i do have the right to ask him to change something, because we are striving to be and stay a couple, who do things together and are each other's support system. Because people who want to have a successful and happy relationship are willing to make changes for each other.

So i asked The Mister to stop drinking because i don't like it and it made me anxious when i watched a bottle of wine come out every night and disappear.

And he did. Which makes me happy and that increases his happiness. See how that works?

25 comments:

deb said...

That's nicethat he stopped. Mine went the other way. And then he locked me out of my house. Fucker!

Maggie said...

Man, I never though of it that way either.

And yet, I've be willing (as I'm sure you have) to change things that he didn't like. Funny how we see things so clearly from the wrong precipice. And how much lovelier it is from the view someone else might lead us to. How very nice.

Steph said...

Awesome. Pondering.

Bob said...

Quite an aha moment.

I'm guilty - as is Laura - of thinking that she should realize what makes me nuts and stop, without me having to ask.

it doesn't happen.

I still don't know how to ask, but after 25 years I've finally stopped expecting her to be able to read my mind.

that's progress, right?

meno said...

deb, i'm guessing that his goal was NOT a happy and successful relationship. Fucker indeed!

maggie, I know, me neither. I didn't think i had the right. But now i see that i do, and so does he. Which is key.

steph, kind of a paradigm shift isn't it?

bob, that is indeed progress. It is so hard to ask for what we want from our primary relationship. Which is odd if you really think about it.

Too Tired 2 B Clever said...

That is revolutionary.

One reason it is difficult for me to ask, is my desire to believe my partner recognize my needs intuitively, without having to endure the humility of asking. But there is also that place in which I think I know my partner, and he knows me, when in fact we only know one another to a point because in the reality we tune out behaviors that are repetitive, or annoying and forget to pay attention not only who he is but who he is becoming.

flutter said...

communication. it's what's for dinner

nick said...

I like to think Jenny and I always say if there's something that's really bugging the other. Mostly we do, but there are still times when we button our lips for one reason or another. She hates it if I suggest she might be shopping too much, or spending too much, so I've learnt to be a bit more relaxed about that!

Great that Mister was so responsive to your plea about drinking, that does suggest a very positive relationship. I'm sure lots of men would take no notice whatever or even get steaming mad.

caro said...

This hit me on the head like an anvil.Thank you, thank you.

I do this all the time. I moved out a couple of months ago just because I couldn't do just that : ask.

All the rent money I could have saved...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Oh, my. I'm happy for you and also crossing my fingers that it holds. I was raised to believe that I had no right to ask for anything, and you can imagine the kinds of situations that got me into. Yes, you do have a right to ask, and he also has a right to refuse, so I am very glad he saw the wisdom in your request and values your relationship enough to change unhealthy behaviors. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tool for empowerment.

de said...

send me a check; i'll tell you this stuff.

Scott from Oregon said...

But if you try sometimes...

You just might find...

You'll get what you need...

meno said...

Too Tired, we all think that way, especially the women, as we are taught that to ask is a sign of weakness.

flutter, that's deep.

nick, i think many people would have gotten mad, but we are paying these people to help us try and say things we need to say without risking anger.

caro, i wish you were still blogging.

hearts, i hope it holds too. but so far.....

de, you are so smart!

scott, but i want what i want!

fiwa said...

Hmpf. I feel like I should chip in too. Thank you for sharing this - I would never have looked at it that way. Maybe I too will ask.

luckyzmom said...

It's such hard work. Sounds like you guys deserve medals.

Magpie said...

It is awfully hard sometimes, this communication thing. I'm glad you got to a good place.

rebecca said...

Glad he listened. Don't you love when they do that?

sari said...

I'm glad to hear this, Meno.

Dick said...

I think he wanted that, too, but just didn't recognize it as a problem until you pointed it out. He also wants the relationship to work and is willing to work to make changes. That is good.

MsCellania said...

That a REALLY big change, if he's able to do it.
My 20 year of anniversary of stop-polishing-off-the-daily-bottle will be 7/5/10. So it's do-able

jen said...

brave.

and good.

Anonymous said...

Well done you. I always thought I had a right to ask and then was thoroughly stunned when I realised that actually he also had a right to refuse.
He also had a right to tell me that he adored me and accommodated me and that if I loved him, perhaps I could show that and accept something just a little bit short of perfection.
He was right.
Communication eh? It's a wonderful thing.

nick said...

Hi Meno, re your previous post on the peeing issue, I just discovered this rather wonderful website: http://mapsu.org/ (that's Mothers Against Peeing Standing Up)

sunnyray said...

Mine asked me to change and I did, but I asked and it was not reciprocated. It is hard to live with a person that only sees one side.

Mrs4444 said...

Very thought-provoking... How's it going?