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She took off her earrings and looked in the mirror, asking herself why she felt disappointed. They had a nice evening away from the kids. But one little thing stuck in her craw. He didn't notice the extra effort she took to look pretty tonight. "Don't be stupid," she told herself, "You're just being vain. You know he loves you. It's not that big of a deal." She sighed, shook her head and finished getting ready for bed.
"What's the matter?" he asked as she slipped under the covers.
"Nothing. I'm just tired. Tonight was fun. Thanks." She gave him a quick kiss, rolled over and stared at the opposite wall for about an hour, letting a few tears slide into her pillow before finally falling asleep.
My dear girl, how will he ever know what you need if you don't tell him? Don't you think it a bit unfair? Being your mate does not give him special radar to hone in on your expectations and desires. He wants to make you happy. If you refuse to clue the poor guy in, you don't give him a chance. Though it can be very difficult, scary, and sometimes humiliating to admit your need, doing so is critical if you are serious about growth in your marriage. Vulnerability lends itself to intimacy. Guarding yourself breeds wrong assumptions and mistrust. Force yourself to tell him what you need. You may be surprised and delighted at his response. When you say nothing, you are guaranteed things will not get better.
Though they'd been up for hours, the car she would need tomorrow still sat in the driveway needing repair. She could call the mechanic herself, but she always felt stupid trying to explain the problem. When she lived at home, her dad took care of that stuff. The way he dropped everything to deal with her car issues made her know he loved her though he rarely said it. When her husband put it off, it felt personal and made her nervous.
When she couldn't take it any more she snipped, "Are you going to do something about the car?"
"Yeah, I s'pose we should call somebody, huh?"
She clenched her jaw and tried to slow down her breathing. "Ya think?" was all she could get out politely.
"Do you want to call ___________________?"
She wanted to scream, "I don't want to call ANYBODY! I want YOU to take care of it," but she couldn't get it out. Asking him to handle it made her feel like a child. And what if he wasn't around someday? Lots of women resolve these sorts of things on their own all the time. "You're just being a wimp," she told herself.
Needing your husband to take care of something does not make you weak. It makes you human. Even if you've mentioned it before, he may need to be reminded, kindly. Let him help you. Tell him about it so he CAN. Not only does it relieve your stress and give you a sense of security, but it builds him up when he accomplishes it for you.
She glanced at the clock. "Where is he?" she muttered under her breath. Life had been utter chaos for the last hour and a half. The living room needed to be vacuumed before company arrived that night. One child was having a meltdown about their homework. Another needed something from the store. The youngest had been in and out with the neighbor kids while the oldest was trying to put together a DVD for a school project and had a few questions she couldn't answer. And of course there was the little matter of dinner.
"I could really use some help here, babe," she thought, noticing he was running especially late today.
The moment he entered, she could see the stress on his face. It took about thirty seconds for the dam to break. He needed to talk. Ignoring the whirlwind going on all around them and the growing anxiety within her, she started dinner while he told the story. She turned off the radio to lower the noise level. She shushed the kids when they tried to interrupt. He went on for a while and then wandered into the living room. When she peeked around the corner to see what he was doing, she noticed him dozing in the chair. Taking a deep breath, she enlisted the kids' help, let him sleep and finished dinner.
Marriage requires humility. Sometimes loving someone means sucking it up and putting his needs ahead of your own. If you're focused on yourself, you won't see what he needs, perpetuating a downward spiral that crashes at the bottom. In any relationship there has to be give and take. Sometimes you are the taker, sometimes you are the giver. If you are willing to be the giver, he will return the favor in kind.
Needs. It isn't fair to assume he'll know them. You have to tell him. They are not a sign of weakness. We all have them. He has needs too. Don't be so focused on yourself that you miss the chance to meet his.
Please pop over to Chrysalis to read what else we should be telling our daughters.