Monday, August 13, 2012

I Have My Needs!



















I've always considered myself to be a "Words of Affirmation" person. I like compliments from the man in my life... I like reassurance... I like to be told that I look pretty, or that my shirt is flattering or that my new hair cut looks great on me. I like to be told all the reasons I'm loved, all the time. I want to hear the words. LOUD and CLEAR.

Ironically enough, Seth isn't a man of many words- especially the ooey gooey cheesy ones that I yearn to hear.

How could this be? This is my need. This was what I needed from him to feel loved and fulfilled and happy in our relationship. I needed those words.

After feeling slightly undervalued in the beginning of our relationship (because I wasn't hearing all the things I listed above), I made an appointment with my therapist, Maurice, to make some sense of it all.

As I sank down into his black leather sofa, he said,

"So... what's up Jacy?"

I took a big breath and I let it all out,

"Seth is great... okay basically he is AMAZING! Buuuuuuuuuuut, he doesn't express his feelings for me the way I want him to. I want him to tell me that I look cute and that I'm so wonderful for reasons x, y and z. I want to be reminded everyday of just how much he loves me.  I have my needs and I honestly don't think they are being met 100% right now."

Maurice let me finish my thought entirely but as soon as I was done he said,

"All this 'NEEDS' stuff.... it's really just erred thinking. Think about it Jacy... Two happy, healthy, confident people date and get married. They've done perfectly fine up until this point as independent human beings but as soon as they commit or get married, what do they do? They write down a list of their 'NEEDS', pass it across the table and say "here's what I need from you for ME to be happy." What is wrong with this picture? They didn't need that person or those things to be happy the 30 years beforehand, so why do they need and expect it now?"

Maurice had shut me down- in a very healthy and positive way. He was dead on.

After an hour-long intriguing conversation about relationships, people, and expectations, I quickly realized that all of my insecurities, everything I had brought up, all of those 'needs' I listed, had everything to do with me and not one darn thing to do with Seth, or his lack of mushy words.

I quickly realized that I need to be secure with myself if I'm going to be apart of a healthy, flourishing relationship. I asked myself.... Why did I need those words? Why were they so important to me? What void was being filled? What insecurity was I patching up? Why wasn't I feeling confident and/or valued enough?

After thinking long and hard, again all things came back on my shoulders. It was nothing to do with him, it was me. I had some things that I needed to work on.

Self-discovery, people.

I've come to conclude that not everyone is like me. Some individuals aren't comfortable spewing out words that seem redundant or too lovey dovey or completely over the top. I can't expect those types of people to change who they are to fit 'my needs' and I can't mold people into how I want them to be. So, if I can't handle being with someone who isn't super gushy, then I probably shouldn't date that kind of person. Easy as that. There are plenty of other people out there who can offer those specific qualities, if they are that important to me.

However, if this person is the type of man who I want to build a life with, who I can create wonderful things with, who makes me feel safe and secure and happy and special all at once, but who doesn't give me 18th century love poems that I think I need/deserve, then I've got to make some serious adjustments on my end!

So, this has taken a little bit of getting used to this past year.... but through my willingness to try and understand the concepts Maurice has taught me, I've realized so much more about myself and who I am... as well as the kind of man Seth truly is, too.

Seth is a man of words! I just didn't take notice to it before.

Because I was so caught up in myself and concerned and disappointed about what he wasn't giving me, I overlooked the amazing things he was giving me. He has always given me wholeheartedness and sincerity. When he says something, he means it. When he compliments, he's very serious. And most importantly, when he isn't reciting all of the terms of endearment or compliments I might have expected in the beginning, his actions are speaking louder than any word muttered from his mouth.

And while he is continually making an effort to be more affectionate and wordy with me, I don't feel like I have 'needs' anymore.

I feel like I have a better understanding and greater confidence in myself therefor, I trust that Seth is around because he wants to be. Just because he doesn't dote over me everyday doesn't mean that he doesn't find me attractive or funny or talented or valuable. He just chooses to show me his love in other ways, taking pride in what he does, not just what he says. Because, as we all know, words can have so much genuine meaning... but words can also be just hot air, full of untruths.

So instead of trying to change Seth and his ability to genuinely love me, I've decided to see it as it is, let go of how I thought it should be, and embrace it. Sure his love may be different than how I do it, or how I've known it in the past, but it is a new kind of love; it is our one-of-a-kind love, a love that is totally worth fighting for-- without a bunch of 'needy needs' attached to it.


** I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this! Do you agree or disagree? Do you find yourself having a list of 'NEEDS' from others in order to make you happy and fulfilled? (Obviously we all expect needs like providing, honesty, fidelity, etc... I'm not talking about those things...) 


Happy Monday Everyone!



16 comments:

  1. It feels a million times better to know that I AM not the only girl who does that too!! Yeah!!! But, I totally am like that too, I like to HEAR words of affirmation but I am also very big on physical touch...so actions speaker louder, but ironically, we don't notice it when we are focused seeking the verbal validation. But, once someone points out that a man's actions shows his love for you, really opens your eyes to appreciate what he does. I am flying to Utah on Wednesday! Lets be sure to meet up :)

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    1. YES!!!!!!!!! So excited for this!!!!!!!!!! What if I did like a My Name is Jacy GIRLS NIGHT OUT?? Would you come?? :) So glad your finally coming!!

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    2. Love the idea! I am so looking forward to having girls night out time! I am excited to finally meet you!

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  2. Love this!! And no, you're not the only one. I have struggled with this a little too, and I finally have come to understand my husband's way of showing his love for me. Like Seth does for you, he does things for me all the time and I wasn't noticing it because he wasn't "saying" it. I'm much more talky talk about my feelings and he's just not, and I've finally accepted it. Like you said, it's so much better to focus on what they are giving us everyday than what they're not saying or doing. Another great topic, Jacy!

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  3. Love this post! My husband is like Seth. Definitely not mushy. Reading this gives me a little extra perspective. Thanks!!

    Amy


    Fashion and Beauty Finds

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  4. THE 5 LANGUAGES OF LOVE by Gary Chapman pairs well with your post this morning.

    All of us can identify with one of the 5 love languages which are:
    Words of Affirmation
    Quality Time
    Receiving Gifts
    Acts of Service
    Physical Touch

    In this book you will learn how to express love in different ways by simply using the
    appropriate love language.

    You won't be disappointed, I promise!




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  5. This is funny because with me and my husband, we're the exact opposite. One of the things that attracted him to me is that I'm honest and wouldn't just tell him a bunch of things to puff up his ego, but (like you said about Seth) he could know that I mean what I say. I've gotten a little better at being more encouraging over the years, but I'm still working on it (even at almost 10 years of marriage). I think you're right on in your conclusions. That's a gift that you have learned that this early on!

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  6. GREAT perspective!! It is so true.

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  7. in our premarital counseling, my husband and i learned about the different love languages, and i found this to be very helpful. we both made a list of what makes us feel loved (the 5), and we found that we have very different love languages. it helps me a lot to remember this, when i realize my feelings are hurt because of something he didn't do. it also helped me to love him better, to cater more to how he feels loved.

    loved this post, jacy!

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  8. I think we have a lot more we can do for ourselves than we let ourselves after we let ourselves become dependent on someone. It's also easy to give any situation in our life a "happy list."

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  9. You know.....I've been thinking about the idea of this post for a few days and I've come to this conclusion....I think your therapist is off. Having been married eight years now if my husband and I didn't talk about our needs to each other and try to become better people our married life would be very strained, perhaps over. Maybe I'm not understanding your/and the therapist's explanation in this post. While I think there is a spectrum of needs (selfish to reasonable) I think it's absurd not to talk about them. When two people get married there's two to work out the situation, no longer just one. What happens when you children have valid needs? Would your therapist say that they're not worth talking about either? Just let them go?

    I'd be interested in a more in-depth post about this topic. Or change your therapist. Lol.

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    1. KS-

      I think maybe you misinterpreted my words OR I didn't fully explain what I meant. (ahem... I might have written this at midnight...lol).

      Just to clarify, my therapist never said we shouldn't talk about it. Of course we should always be communicating with ALL of the people in our lives. If things are brushed under the rug, ignored or kept secret, you are right, it is BAD. Trust me, I get it... I think this is why I'm divorced. Believe me...Seth and I have had SEVERAL chats about everything possible... including my feelings and my expectations... and we still talk about it... often.

      I guess the point of this particular post was to say that I can't expect him to change who he is in order to make me happy and have my 'needs' met. Obviously there is stuff like providing, stability, fidelity, etc... but that's not what I'm talking about.

      Seth isn't comfortable spewing out poems and words about how much he adores me... and even though I would LOVE to hear them... he doesn't really know how to be that kind of man. It's not a bad thing, it's just who he is. So, while he is making a conscious effort to make me feel loved and adored in that specific way (and he is doing a great job), I can't demand that he change who he is to make ME happy. When that happens I think people can become resentful and unsatisfied because their expectations of how it SHOULD BE aren't being met by the other person.

      Does that make better sense?

      I couldn't agree with you more... conversation is KEY to any relationship! I'm just trying to be more secure within myself so that I don't 'need' a compliment from him every time we go out... if I am confident in myself, I won't need as many words... and I won't have the same type of needs I did before.

      Keep in mind that my shrink is a sex-addiction therapist and so, he understand the feelings and residual effects that betrayed women endure. Maybe this was geared more toward me personally, because what I've been through and doesn't apply to everyone, BUT I still found it's principle to be very enlightening and true for me.

      It's helped me become a better person... for myself and for others...

      Thanks for the comment... it was good to explain that a little more :)

      XO

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    2. Gotcha. Thanks for the explanation, friend :)

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