Ask For What You Want.

02 February 2014

I am not a mind reader and neither is Dave.

Since mind reading is off the table, we have to ask for what we want.  Or need.  Or can’t live without.

I know this doesn’t make sense if you live in the magical land of fairy tales and Twilight novels where everyone is clairvoyant and sparkly.  If you’re living in that place, you are totally justified in getting upset when your partner doesn’t know, say, your very favorite cake {vanilla with chocolate frosting} or that gift {oh look, a list!} you would love more than anything.  I mean at the very minimum, they should be able to figure it out when you’ve hinted at something six months ago.  Right? 

I’ll break it down for you though, by sharing my own stupidity.  Sharing is caring, people.

I spent the first five, give or take, Christmases with Dave disappointed because they didn’t meet my expectations.  Sometimes I was angry, sometimes I cried, but there was always just an undercurrent of demoralized frustration.  That part was Dave.  So, I make a big deal about Christmas.  I spend hours thinking of the perfect gift that I know he’ll love.  I wrap everything with pretty coordinated paper and make cookies and stand in line at the Delta counter during a freak snowstorm with a lot of pissed off people to get tickets to New Orleans.  His stocking is filled with fun things to make him laugh and his favorite sweets.

He should just get it!  Why doesn’t he get it?

Because I never told him.  Instead, I acted like a lunatic and he?  He chalked it up to the fact that Christmas makes me moody and irrational.  How would he know any different?

It took him saying, “Michelle, I feel like shit every Christmas!  I can’t make you happy!”  And me yelling back, “Yes you can! I just want you to make an effort and not shop for whatever last minute, stupid thing you find on Christmas Eve and don’t even wrap!  It’s a big deal to me!”   He had never even thought about it because while he appreciates that I go the extra mile, Christmas just isn’t a big deal for him.   That single, ten minute conversation was all it took.  No joke.  He steps it up for Christmas and I keep a Pinterest board full of things I’d love to open so he doesn’t have to spend three hours guessing in the lingerie department at Cacique. 

OK, Christmas is just a trivial example.

It is saying, “let’s figure out our budget,” instead of secretly seething that she spends money on lunch out with friends while you save every penny. 

It’s knowing and sharing exactly what you crave in bed.  If you don’t say something, how are you going to get it?  Live with an unsatisfying sex life?  Have an affair and get a divorce? 

Instead of waiting for him to notice you’re angry as you’re stomping around the house, it’s saying, “I am upset right now.  I need you to fix this.”  And then letting him have the opportunity to correct the problem. 

It’s not doing it all yourself and throwing it in his face that he ‘doesn’t do anything’ to help instead of saying, “I need your help getting the house picked up.” 

Imagine the possibilities and repeat after me… I am obligated to communicate my own needs.  I am not a martyr.  I am not passive aggressive.  I’m an equal partner, responsible for my own happiness.  I communicate with my partner.  I ASK FOR WHAT I WANT.

And I get it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This post could not have come at a better time. I am HORRIBLE about communicating with my husband about everything from the day to the big stuff. And I live in disappointment - which - if I think about it - is my own fault. Thank you!!!!

G said...

Very very well-put. A great reminder that relationships are a living, breathing thing that requires communication and action.

Unknown said...

The old saying, everything happens for a reason! I was meant to read this blog today! I was just talking to my assistant on Friday. Friday night, she planned her own birthday party. This way she got everything she wanted and it worked! She was very happy. I had a cousin who did the same and thought it was a bit much.

I planned this huge SURPRISE party for my husband's 40th Birthday. I put love into every detail of his party...from the invites to the cake. My 40th two years later was a mess-let's leave it at that. I expected him to know who to invite, the theme, to surprise me etc. etc. I feel terrible for being so hard on him. From here on I promise to communicate and ask for what I want! Your the best!

Just A Normal Mom said...

So well said! And a great reminder because I am far from perfect and sometimes catch my self NOT saying what I need and being a pissy brat about it, when what I really needed to do is just say what it is I needed.

Michelle said...

Me too Ally!

Miss April said...

I love this! I had been going through this with my husband for years and years, never realizing that he just didn't know what I wanted because I NEVER TOLD HIM! lol My story is (eerily) similar to yours, and once I figured it out and explained how much it meant to me, he really stepped it up and actually out-does me on most holidays, (which really pissed me off for a while too, but that's another story). It has helped our relationship in every way now that I just ask for what I want and expect him to do the same.

Bunny @ 86n It said...

Preach it!

Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

SO TRUE! I feel like I am exactly in this situation a lot of the time. I have to be honest and come out and ask for what I want. Being passive aggressive just bugs both of us. I need to live up to this more!

Sara said...

AGREE. Although in my relationship it's my husband that needs to do this more. I realize this sounds like I'm placing blame but he is seriously disappointed at every holiday and it's SO FRUSTRATING. Got any advice for me here?

Michelle said...

Sara, I started keeping a list for Dave. He can never think of anything when it comes time for birthdays and Christmas, so as he mentions stuff that he might like or if I come across things that would be perfect during the year I keep a list on my phone. I also have a Pinterest board for him.

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