My Dang Part In It
So if my partner is trying to be good instead of authentic I can blame him or I can say, what’s the part of this dynamic I control? How am I making it unsafe or otherwise unappealing for my partner to express his true desires?
When he does express his needs and desires — even the small ones — am I judge-y? Sad? Unloving? Just plain bitchy? Do I try to argue him “out of” his expressed wants about how he’d like to spend his free time?
Hell effing ya. All. The. Time. Well, not all the time, but more than I’d like. And the times I get upset or disappointed he seems to remember so much clearer and longer than all the other times. So my vigilance for being accepting, kind, and loving needs to be — I want it to be — really high.
Now, here’s the fear, well one of them: what if we never ever ever ever get to do what I want to do? What if I loosen up a little bit and Mike just goes to the gym, comes home, gets to researching something or other, and never looks up again.
I will miss him, I’ll be sad, I’ll have to do me, myself, by myself, without my buddy.
Is that going to happen? No! Probably not, I mean the guy says he likes spending time with me and with Ax so I don’t have to force it.
But I get nervous. And scared, and then go from there, which is not a great place to be going from. But the cool thing, the very cool thing, is that I am learning to make requests. Like, “Would it be okay if I ....” and “Would you be willing to ....” And then the next trick is to trust the answer.
“Would you be willing to watch Ax while I go to lunch with my girls?”
And then I say, “Thank you.” Not “Are you sure sure? What will you do while I’m gone? Don’t forget this that and the other thing.” Just leave and enjoy and be grateful.
“Would it be okay if we went out to dinner tonight instead of staying in?”
“No, I really wanted to have xyz.”
“Yes, where would you like to go?”
And then be cool. Be Cool with it.
Rather than storing up and storing up and trying to be “good” and trying to guess what he wants and then bursting in an exhausted, resentment-filled, puddle from the effort of not being real.
So anyway, that’s my part. If I want real and relaxed I gotta give real and relaxed, and also trust. I have to trust and be trustworthy. I have to — I get to — know that my partner is on my side, and I am on his.
That we are a team, and each of us has an interest in the other’s well-being, in allowing each other to take care of ourselves, whatever that looks like.
Even if it looks like being on a computer for hours and hours while the sun is shining. Even if it looks like sneaking off in the middle of perfectly good snuggling to write deep thoughts for a no-profit blog. Whatever it looks like. I’m gonna keep going.