Communicating Needs

Yesterday morning on my walk to work I was hit with a revelation. Well…a revelation for me. For all I know, some of you might read this and think, “Well, DUH….”

I was thinking about those times when I get gripped with fear and uncertainty, particularly when it comes to my relationship with CBG. Those times when our situation seems hopeless and I find myself gripped by frustration. They don’t surface nearly as frequently as they used to, but they still make the rounds every now and again.

I’ve realized that what those fear attacks are really about is needing reassurance. From CBG. Most of the time I’m pretty good at reassuring myself. But every now and again, I find myself in a spot where my own self-talk just isn’t good enough. But instead of going directly to him and communicating, “Hey, I’m lonely and scared and feeling a bit hopeless, could you please offer me some reassurance?” I allow myself to go down the road of negative thinking.

It’s difficult for me to communicate my needs. Honestly, I pretty much suck at it.

When I was with my exhusband, it was easy. He was so attentive to me and we were so codependent that I usually didn’t have to communicate my needs. He anticipated them. He responded quickly. He looked at it one of his jobs to meet my needs and help me to be happy. Often, there was little that I actually had to do.

And yeah. We all know how well *that* worked out, now don’t we?

Now that I am with CBG, a man who loves me just as I am, without expectation or pressure to be anyone other than exactly who I am, I find myself with a deep desire to be “strong” and “independent”. That seems to translate into me being hesitant to turn to him when I need help and support. I simply do my best to power through those feelings on my own. I don’t want to be the weak woman that I was when I was with my ex. I’ve put that person behind me.

Some days it works. And sometimes, I find myself in a deep blue funk, overwhelmed with anger and fear. It’s part of life, it happens to all of us. Yesterday I realized that those deep blue funks are my way of crying out for help, support, and reassurance…because I’m not feeling strong enough to do those things for myself…or to ask for those things from him straight out.

The thing is, I realize that I need to be willing to ask for help when I need it. This is a partnership, after all. And there is nothing wrong with turning to the man I love and letting him know exactly what I need, rather than trying (unsuccessfully) to cope with it on my own.

We all need a little help sometimes. And you know what? I’m not going to be ashamed to ask for it anymore. Next time I feel those doubts and fears surfacing, instead of giving in to the darkness, I will face those fears. I won’t hate them. I will accept them for what they are. I will figure out what I need from CBG and I will let him know – loud and clear – what he can do to help. It’s time to communicate those needs.

18 Responses

  1. Wow, I didn’t even realize you were doing this (not leaning on CBG at all for some reassurance etc with the fear) until you just said it…and then I realized that I do it too. I had this weird wave of irrational fear with M this morning (his ex called him for something, not sure if he called her back yet, and why irrational fear crept in, I have no idea)…rather than fester over it or worry etc., sometimes the best and fastest way to nip it in the bud is to just talk about it…with him. Rather than go through a zillion emotions in your mind. Ok, rambling comment, half about me but related to what you are saying, I hope/think!

    • Well….usually he does end up giving me some support when I’m going through one of my high-anxiety times, but usually that’s after I’ve pushed him away, good and hard, for at least a little while. It’s usually not until I’m back on the upswing that I find myself willing (and able) to accept that help from him. I need to do it before things reach that point.

      So the question is, did you talk to M about what you feeling? 😉

      • Not yet 😉 This just happened last night and I haven’t seen him yet, but I plan to tonight…in part because of THIS reminder! Thank you!

    • Remember your comment on my post the other day? SHARE your feelings… no matter if they’re good or bad! 🙂

  2. Oh my gosh this happens to me too. Unusually talk myself back from the freakbout point… But sometimes I need BLT’S help.

  3. Love it! Yes! Epiphanies rock, don’t they? 🙂

  4. That IS what relationships are about … it’s takes TWO to make it work! Love this post, Sunshine!

  5. It’s hard to ask for help…and for me, anyway, even harder to ask for help from those who we love and love us most. For me, I don’t want to come across as weak/needy/etc

    But then, when I finally break down, those people (who truly love me) are always ike, “Why didn’t you say something?!? Of course!!”

    • That’s MY big fear…coming across as being weak and needy. But really, doesn’t it actually take a strong person to recognize their weaknesses and ask for help when they need it? I think so. Now I just need to put that theory into practice. 😉

  6. This is an interesting revelation, I must say. And what’s so interesting is that you are willing to reassure your friends and loved ones but you aren’t (or haven’t been) willing to let your loved ones reassure you. It’s almost a defense mechanism – an “I’m strong, I don’t need anyone to reassure me, hear me roar!” which I am ALL for the hear me roar mantra, but like others have said here, it’s ok to ask for a little help now and then. That’s a LOT of what makes a good relationship a great one. Learning to trust and lean on one another when it’s needed – not a codependency thing, just a support system. We all need that, right?

    • It’s tough for me to sometimes distinguish between healthy and unhealthy needs. My marriage was so screwed up, and so codependent that I believe I’ve swung a little too far in the opposite direction. Add to that the ‘worthiness’ factor…I struggle sometimes with feeling worthy of asking people for help.

      But you’re right, it IS okay to ask for help sometimes, and that’s exactly what I intend to try to do, going forward. 🙂

  7. I struggle with this daily. Thank you so much for writing about it.

  8. I read this post at the perfect moment. My kids’ dad never reassures me about anything and leads me to believe that I am the one with uncertain emotional issues when it is he who doesn’t know how to respond when I ask for the umpteenth time, “Are you still going to buy the car seats and stroller?” Instead I am made to feel like a nag. Not anymore. Thank you.

  9. […] didn’t slow down to really talk about things until Saturday afternoon. I did my best to articulate my thought process to CBG when I start going down the road of negativity on the way to panic attack city. It felt good […]

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