Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.
January 27, 2011 1:40 PM Subscribe
How do you get over having to ask for what you want in a relationship?
posted by anonymous to human relations (40 answers total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
I know, intellectually and practically, that straightforward communication is important in a relationship, and that sometimes you need to plainly ask for what you want from your partner. The trouble is, how do you accept it when you get what you asked for? When what you wish would have been a gift, freely given, is instead offered to you because you explicitly asked? How do you get past the resentment that you needed to ask at all, when what you want seems transparently obvious?
For a little more context: my longtime marriage is foundering and a big part of our problem is that I am hurt by my husband's lack of communication/expressiveness. There are many other ways he demonstrates his love and commitment to me and with both individual and couples' counseling we are working on closing the gap between us. That includes me being appreciative for the ways he does show his love, and him working on more talking, outward expressions of affection, etc.
But when he tries to do the things that I've asked him to do--that I want him to do--I still have such a sense of resentment that I had to ask at all, and his gestures in good will bring me a lot of pain. Clearly it's counterproductive when he is doing what I've asked him to do and I still reject it.
I recognize that this is a vicious circle, but some of these hurts are so old and so fundamental that I really don't know how to find the path to get out of it. We are talking about this in therapy but I would love to hear if anyone in the hive mind has been here and made it through to the other side. I'm posting anonymously but welcome direct responses at email@example.com.