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very new thought

Old 11-06-2003, 05:40 AM
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very new thought

Good Morning!
I just had a new thought: when I got married I expected that hubby would meet my needs just because they were there. Like I don't have to be independant anymore. I don't have to drive in the dark, or carry heavy things, or kill spiders, or drive to NJ to see family, or support myself financially, or mow the lawn.

What if I pretended that I have to find a way to meet my needs by myself? That he is not my crutch and that he is not supposed to be my crutch. That I don't expect too much from him. We just live together and if he does something to make my life easier then great, but no expectations.

I wonder if this is possible for me? Even in college I had expectations of my roomate/friend. THis sounds so simple but it feels like a big idea to me. THanks for listening.
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Old 11-06-2003, 06:02 AM
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Rose, I could have written your entire post. And I never realized until very recently that I had those expectations. But somehow, I did. I thought being married meant someone would finally start taking care of me and all my needs. Boy was I wrong!

I think you're onto something and since the seed has been planted, all that's left now is figuring out how to make it happen!

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Old 11-06-2003, 06:08 AM
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Rose

I think you have had what we call an "AHA" moment.

What you say makes perfect sense to me and I think that learning to look after yourself in all ways, will make you a stronger person.

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Old 11-06-2003, 06:25 AM
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Did it used to be that all women were raised to believe that their men would take care of them in all matters?

Why would we have ever swallowed that belief when we always knew that women do the majority (if not all) of the cooking, cleaning, raising of children, organizing and all the small things that make where we live our homes? Did we ever stop to realize that our mothers had "emotional needs" while she waited hand and foot on our fathers?

So, if you want to really think about it that way - we already are independent; we've been taking care of ourselves and others and we have been doing so for a very long time, but are still simply believing what we were raised to believe - that the men would take care of us.

(Apologies to any men out there who are in reversed roles...)

It is our own responsibility to make sure our own emotional needs are met. It all comes down to being there for ourselves before we can be there for others. We've been doing that all along - haven't we ladies?!?!
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Old 11-06-2003, 07:34 AM
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I'm in that reversed role, but I can relate. No apologies needed.
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:48 AM
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Another companion thought: Hubby can take care of all his needs. I don't have to be there for him. If he needs something it is not automatically my prime objective. I remember a post that Smoke made about buying compromise crackers that no one liked. Then she started buying what she wanted and if he wanted otherwise let him buy the crackers. As it turned out he liked her crackers fine.
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:50 AM
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Sure... Okay... but hooooooold everything!

Let's also look, Rose, at all the things that you assumed you would be doing FOR HIM. He kills the spiders, you clean the tub. What you had was a preconceived notion of what male/female roles would be in your marriage. I expect, though, that in your fantasy while he was taking care of you, you were also taking care of him. That's the way some relationships work. It's not surprising to find that roles need to be adjusted to fit individual abilities and tastes... HOWEVER... what I hear you saying is "I have to just take care of myself." Okay. Groovy. Now, does he just have to take care of himself, too? Or is the scenario now "Since I have been taking care of myself for years now, I will acknowledge that I am the only one who is going to do it and that is going to just have to be okay with me but OH... I'd better go wipe his butt because toilet paper is too mechanically advanced for him and he's headed out the front door with his pants down again." Hmmmm?

Hey. If I'm gonna be a doormat... he'd BETTER provide the floor. What? A do it myself floor kit? Cool. Wipe your feet outside, buster.
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Old 11-06-2003, 09:18 AM
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******{ROSE}}}} Do I EVER identify!!!!

Just want to share with you a little snippet I heard at an AA convention a few years ago, from an Alanon member, which I STILL love and pass on today.

'Expectation is a pre-meditated resentment'

Makes a lot of sense to me LOL
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:16 AM
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Neat post.....that's the 7th tradition working in your life. Each person in a group needs to be fully self-supporting. I learned that meant....emotionally, spirtually, and physically.

It works!
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:25 PM
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Oh Smoke,
I went to an Alanon meeting today and shared about my new thought. Someone came up to me after the meeting and said "you have been so unhappy for so long. If you are both so independent then what's the point of being in a relationship?

The problem with my new thought is just what Smoke said - I am not strong enough to stop helping him. So that's where the resentment comes in. If I only had one hundreth of the spunk that Smoke has I would really be cooking. Onward.....
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:43 PM
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You're doing great Rose. It's all one step then another and we keep moving forward.

Personally, I love those AHA moments. The lightbulb just goes off and I know I have taken a leap forward.

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Old 11-06-2003, 01:21 PM
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There is no problem with your new thought, Rose. It's a thought that leads to the next new thought. And I bet, when you thought it, you felt free. I think sometimes we that consider ourselves to be codependent are living in a series of little cages, one inside the other. You have to unlock one to get to the door of the next one. Another cage door sprung! A magnificent death defying escape by the Great Rose-dini! Can you hear the applause?

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Old 11-06-2003, 01:44 PM
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OIddly enough for me, I never had expectations of being cared for when we 1st got together. I had had a psycho boyfriend previously who wanted to control me, and I wanted no part of that.
However, when we were married, I had expectations of him living up to his part of the deal. Ha!!!

Anyway, now I make little demands on him. however, what little I do expect of him I expect him to keep(like going to visit my family out of state) I get angry when he can't even do the little I ask of him. More on my other post....
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Old 11-06-2003, 03:31 PM
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I think Im the opposite of Rose. Ive NEVER felt comfortable depending on other people to take care of me. I would never have been able to quit my job and depend on Elvis. To me that would have been giving up my independance.

Sometimes I think I ended up with the worst of both worlds. Elvis encouraged me to be independant but when it came to doing his share he was always too busy. So basicly I ended up doing everything.

Maybe things happen for a reason tho. If I hadnt had such a good job I wouldnt have been able to retire early. And since I always did all the house maintenance its no biggie deal now. Same old same old.

I kinda like doing house rehab anyway. But I draw the line at roofing (heights) and electricity. Ive always got a bunch of projects going. Right now Im working on a patio and some stone walls and painting the inside of the house and building shelves in the garage. Theres just me so it doesnt matter if things are torn up.
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:30 AM
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I understand Rose's thought - but being independent and self-sufficient does that mean it is wrong to want someone to hold you at the end of the day or sharing a bad time in your life or being able to have someone there to talk to? I don't expect my husband to DO things for me but to BE THERE for me for a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold, etc. Is that wrong? Aren't there certain things that people DO for each other in a relationship? Or is it that Rose is talking about EXPECTATING a person to do a certain act and being disappointed when they don't? I think I'm just confused right now .
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:58 AM
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Ok...my thoughts are this. Sure I let go of expectations...and I had alot of them. And it is true Rose that when we give up expecting things the things we recieve are much sweeter.

For me tho there are basic requirements that I demand from a partner. Those things are not expectations...they are non negotiable. They include honesty, faithfulness and participation in our lives among others.

Ward and I are independent..very independent. Each of us consults with the other but in the end we pretty much make our own decisions. I don't see one thing wrong with that. I don't want to be needed. Independent is far preferable to me than codependent.

I am a happier person when I watch my expectations...and that is why I do it.

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Old 11-07-2003, 10:18 AM
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Thanks folks for your thoughts. I certainly don't know the answer. I am independent. I make all the financial decisions(as I make all the $), I do any activity I want after work, I go away for the weekend whenever I want to see girlfriends.

Where I run into trouble is being exposed to a man that is severely unhappy, depressed, physically unfit, and angry at me and the world for the situation he is in. Dealing with this each day drains much of the joy out of my life. And then in spite of the fact that I know he is unable to provide emotional support to me, I turn to him for that support and then feel distraught that I don't get it. This is where I have to be more independent or just smarter to ask someone to meet my needs that is capable to do so.

And yes, there are basic requirements for each partner to meet in the relationship. He is currently not meeting one of my basic requirements(working). And yet I remain in the relationship and question my basic requirement. But I cannot make this requirement go away - this is a basic belief for me. This is the cause of much suffering for me. But in spite of all that I do not want to take an action that will hurt hubby.

My progress is so slow in this program that sometimes I loose hope. But not today, today I have enough hope to make it through the day. Thanks for listening.
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Old 11-07-2003, 01:36 PM
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Al-Anon taught me......I have choices. I get to make up my mind on what I feel like doing or not doing for others one day at a time. I like when someone enjoys taking care of me in some way....very nuturing. I also like that I can do that for myself.

Sometimes I've got lots to give. Sometimes not. If someone's expecting me to do for them, I'm probably going to disappoint them at some point, because I give for fun and for free these days. The same has to be true for others.

Al-Anon really helped me learn that I never need to do for someone else what they are capable of doing for themselves. No guilt.

If someone is so sick that they can't do for themselves....then they need help. I'm not the doctor in the house......or a sponsor......or the therapist. This is nice because it's helped me feel good about my roles and responsibilities toward others.

Personally, if someone doesn't agree.....wants more......complains excessively......then I've learned to let go of the relationship and/or limit them to small doses of my attention.
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:00 PM
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Well said marce!

And Rose...I was guilty also for longer than I care to admit to turning to Ward to have my needs met. I was dissapointed more times than not. This IS the definition of insanity...doing the same things over and over expecting different results.

Men in general are less than nurturing to their partners which is why we have girlfriends. All part of the Mars vs Venus issues. Sober and employed does not make a man any more responsive to a woman's needs.

I have learned that I am a much more reliable person to turn to when I want my needs met. I can nurture myself. I have gotten very good at it....Ward can't read my mind but I can!

One more thought...as I have worked on characture defects in recovery I discovered that one of mine was being excessively emotionally needy. No one could fill me up. The less so that I have become the more he is there for me today. That is how it works for me...backwards. Go figure!

I know he has changed for the better but there is always the possibilty that I am simply more content with what I get.

Hugs,
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:45 PM
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Expectations...

Being so new to the understanding, I have a hard time (obviously I go from step 1 to 3 and then back to 1!) differentiating non-negotiable things from expectations. Non-negotiable, no drinking, no smoking, honesty, and faithfulness. Expectations, he get a job, be responsible, take control over his own life. Or is that still me just trying to 'control' him? I don't know. Where does genuine caring come in? Can't I just be 'caring' or concerned if I want to know if he has gone to a meeting yet? Does it really always mean 'controlling'? Perhaps I have a lot of working on myself to do still. Just when I think I have a handle on it for me and thinking of my needs first, my world comes tumbling down and once again I am the controlling _itch.

I have always been the responsible one with the same job for 18 years, with retirement $$ to take care of myself while my SO has nothing. Now, not even a place to live and he makes me feel guilty that I am not "letting him back in" right away, if ever. When we were living together, I did not do the routine well of waving goodbye to him at the door when I went off to work - I hated that! I guess I always wanted someone to take care of me but never had one. Maybe it's just the grass is always greener, I certainly don't know. Sometimes I feel like the more I learn the more I don't know!
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