Thursday, May 19, 2011

I want to be more grateful, but I need a knife

*note* for the purposes of this post, "needs" and "wants" refers only to the essential things that we need from our spouses. It varies from person to person (which is why it has to be figured out), but usually includes things like affection, sex, time, honesty, attention, etc.

Sometimes I think it sounds like FireMan is just awful. And he's really not.

And here recently, maybe the past few months or so, I can see where he's been trying.

Which is why in my last post I mentioned that I sometimes struggle with gratitude.

I think some of my frustration comes from feeling like I'm not being heard.

I mean, I have tried so hard to figure out what he wants & needs from me, and have been & am still working to meet it, and yet he still doesn't seem to get, at all, what I want and - more importantly - need from him.

I started with pretty much nothing. I mean, here I was, thinking we were fine. He never told me anything was wrong, never voiced his needs. Even when I asked, he'd say everything was great. Even when I told him I had a feeling he wanted or needed more from me, he'd deny it and say everything was fine.

Yeah. Everything was fine until the day it all fell apart in front of me, collapsed thru my fingers.

So basically, I really had to work to try to figure this out.

What little information I eventually got from him was like trying to harder than pulling teeth.

But I wanted to. He's my husband. I love him, I want to meet his needs, I want to give him want he wants.

And so here I sit, a little over a year later.

Has he figured out what I need or want?
Doesn't seem so.

Has he listened to me when I have told him spelled out for him very clearly what I need and want from him?
Apparently not. Or he has heard me, and doesn't care.

Has he taken the hint when I suggested we do those online quizzes to see what we need from each other?
Nope. We got thru his results, and he got up and left the couch before we could go thru mine. Until I whined at him.

Has he taken the multitude of hints I've given him when suggesting books to read or websites to visit?
I really don't think he has. Or again, he has, and just doesn't care enough to act on it. But I really just don't think that he has.

So, while yes, here in the past few months I can see him actually taking steps towards trying to do things for me... well...

It's like he keeps handing me spoons when I'm screaming at him that I need a knife.

It just doesn't cut it.

And then I feel guilty for not being grateful enough for his efforts, for not being thankful enough for the spoons, but the truth is I'm really not that grateful at all because I don't need spoons, dammit! I need a freakin' knife!

And in a way, the more spoons he hands me, the more frustrated & angry I get, and the more hopeless it seems, because each one just seems like more proof that he hasn't heard a word I've said the past year, hasn't listened to me at all, or just doesn't care enough to do what I really need.

I don't want to be ungrateful. I don't.
I want to look at each spoon he hands me with soft eyes, look at each gesture as just that - a gesture that shows that he is finally making in an effort to show that he does care.

I don't know.

I guess just after everything, after a year of repeatedly being hurt,
of repeatedly being told that I was the problem,
of being me blamed for his actions,
of being lied to...
after a year of me busting my butt to try to make things better...
after a year of me telling him what I want & need in every way I know how -
        spelling it out, hinting, gently asking "please", yelling & screaming, nagging, writing it down, showing him where "experts" (even Fire Life       experts) have said that women need these things -
after a year of telling him what I want & need and still not being listened to, not being heard...

It just seems terribly hopeless.

Like I'm destined to live in a world where I never get what I need or want (not that I don't get anything that I need or want, but in relation to the essential things I need from my spouse, that only he can provide).

And I feel like I'm left with this option of to continue giving & giving & giving without receiving, or to stop giving any more. To refuse to give any more.

And I know what is right, and I know what I should do...

But I am so tired. And frustrated. And hurt.

And eventually you just reach this place where you just don't want to give anything to someone who has done nothing but take from you for so long.

And the fact is that you do love him. And despite everything, you still want to give to the one that you love.

But, I will admit, I find it difficult to muster the strength to put in the efforts like I used to. At this point, it's just too exhausting.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Update, of sorts

It's been so long since I've posted, I guess I should start with an update.

We're doing better. Mostly.

I suppose.

There are definitely still issues for both of us to work on. But things are vastly improved over where we were last year at this time.

Personally, I can see where my efforts be a better wife, to be a better person have been successful. I mean, I can literally see a difference in who I was 12 -14 months ago to who I am now. I am definitely a better wife to FireMan than I was last year.

I have learned (an am learning!) what his needs & wants are, and have really worked at fulfilling those for him. It hasn't always been easy, and at times it seems to go unnoticed, but the overall harmony in our relationship is better, so there is proof that it does work.

I have done a lot of homework, read a lot of resources, said a lot of prayers. It has definitely not been an easy road.

And I know I'm still not perfect. In fact, I still have far to go. While I have made leaps & bounds in some areas, I am still woefully lacking in others. And for some, I struggle with how to make more progress. I'm stuck.

But I digress... this was supposed to be an update. And to update you, is to say that I've improved greatly in my wifely role.

Currently my greatest struggle is with... frustration (?)... satisfaction(?)... gratitude(?)... I struggle to define what I am feeling.

It seems that I am still the one putting an abundance of effort into making our marriage work, while he coasts along, throwing in a teaspoon every once in a while. It is too lopsided. And I am struggling with the unevenness of our efforts. I will go into detail in future posts, but for now, that is the overall update.

Thanks for checking in!