What's the line between having needs and being needy?
January 22, 2014 9:46 AM Subscribe
I recently married the love of my life after dating for a year. He's a good man, really kind, wonderful to my kids and sweet to me. I don't want to screw it up but I'm also getting tired of being on my best behavior.
posted by Lizlemondrop to Human Relations (31 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I was in an incredibly dysfunctional marriage for over 20 years. My ex-husband constantly made me feel like he didn't love me and that he was going to leave me if I didn't improve in some way - generally related to being "thoughtless" as he called it - putting things where he could trip over it, not cleaning well enough, saying the wrong thing, etc. The problem with the "thoughtless" trap is that in one sense he was completely right - I would think things were fine and the next thing I would know, he would be upset about something I never, ever anticipated would upset anyone. My head knows that the problem was his - my inner self remains on high alert, still, to make sure I'm not upsetting anyone or doing something that seems ok to me, but is causing offense to someone else.
My new husband is nothing like that. In fact, where my first husband was all about talking a lot about how he felt in the relationship (always bad) and what he thought about me (not much), this guy isn't much of a talker. Which can make me nervous because at least I always knew where I stood with my ex. However it seems pretty clear that not talking is just his style. And while I've told him some things about my first marriage, I've minimized the damage that it caused because I want a normal, grown-up relationship - not a relationship built on my damage and his attempts to heal me. So, for the most part, when my issues rise up again, I deal with them alone.
Today, for example, my pants are too tight. I put on some weight over the holidays and haven't lost it yet, which is frustrating. So, my too small pants are reminding me of my failures and I feel very fragile and down. I don't have these days very often anymore, but they still happen and in the past, I've just cried in my office or the bathroom and waited for the feelings to pass. But what I really want to do today is to tell my husband that I'm down and to ask him to do something small or nice for me to show me that he loves me and that he thinks I'm special. But - scary! What if he does think I'm too fat and it's turning him off? He's said before that he could never be attracted to someone who's grossly overweight. I'm not grossly overweight, I just weigh a little more than I'd like. But I don't know where the cut off for him is - at one point would I stop being attractive to him?
I don't think I'll really feel comfortable in this relationship until I feel like I can tell him about days like this and have him be understanding. I need to know that his love is there for real and forever. But, I don't know how to tell him that. And I'm not sure he would be understanding - he's had some hard times, but nothing on the scale of what I went through. It can be hard for people who didn't go through something similar to understand how it affects you.
So, should I talk to him or should I just wait for these feelings to pass? I know they will, but they are painful while they are here. If I do talk to him, what do I say?