“Should I go away and leave you alone for awhile?”
Asking my husband this little question is my way of telling my man that I see he is trying to focus his attention on something else and that he is not going to be available to me in that minute. Isn’t that evolved of me?
He always laughs and allows me to disengage myself gracefully. Even though there are times I want his love and attention and I want it now, I am slowly learning to rein myself in.
If he grunts at me, or worse, gives me no response at all, thoughts of self doubt, rejection and disappointment rush into my mind. I hate feeling like that and so I used to press even closer, deeper and insist, many times passive aggressively, on his undivided attention.
Of course, the more I turned it up, the faster he closed down and shut me out. Before I knew it, I felt completely cut off.
It has been a real shocker to accept that it is me who cut myself out!
I know when he is engaged in his paper, certain sports on TV or his computer projects that he isn’t going to give me the attention I want, but I march right over myself and insist anyway. Not a good idea.
Being honest with myself has helped me see that I am not all that attractive when I am acting like a wounded 13 year old in my lame attempt to manipulate him into paying attention to me.
I also am better able to look at what will really make me feel better. I do need some options so that I can nurture myself wherever I can. When I have my personal needs in hand and am doing things to make myself feel better when I need to, he is much more likely to engage with me more often and with more focus. Yay.
Here are a couple of the ways that I am learning that are feeding my soul and plugging me into me. Becoming self sufficient in the emotional needs department does not mean your man is totally off the hook. No, it means that when you are confident that your happiness is in your own hands, he will welcome opportunities to be with you and engage with you. I don’t blame him for not wanting to bond with a neurotic 13 year old, would you?
1. Write. I know you have heard about journaling for years and if you are like me, you have procrastinated a few years away not getting around to it. This time though, I have a specific assignment. Take one week and write a letter every day to seven of the people who have made an impact on your life. These are letters never meant to be sent, just gives you an opportunity to thank them.
2. Move. The diet and exercise community has created an ocean of guilt around exercise. The truth is, a part of your loves the feeling of the breeze on your face. A part of you loves fresh air. A part of you loves looking at the scenery. A part of you loves to walk instead of ride. Give that part the gift of your attention. Put a book on audio on your IPOD and listen while you walk. Tribes by Seth Godin is the best book you can be listening to right now.
3. Play. Get a checker board or deck of cards and start to play games with your friends. Instead of sitting there talking about what is not working or the latest gossip, play a game. Engage your mind and your companion in a brand new way.
4. Rest. There is a fabulous tool for physical rest that everyone should know about. You can get a “weighted blanket’ to lay under and create the deepest and most delicious body rest you can imagine. There is science around this that I can go into later, but take my word for it. If you are hyper like me, resting under a heavy blanket is nirvana! Go to http://www.weightedblanket.net and they will set you up.
5. Laugh. Rent your favorite comedies and watch them often. I love The Birdcage with Nathan Lane and Robin Williams and Liar Liar with Jim Carrey. Don’t wait for your man to want to watch them with you. Laugh hard and laugh long. You really can have fun by yourself.
My husband was leaving for golf this morning and I was doing my cute stuff, you know, wrapping my arms around him while he was trying to shave and pressing myself against him walking in tandem as he tried to leave.
I said, “I bet you will really miss someone hanging all over you while you are playing golf today!” He laughed and hugged me. He smiles at me with genuine fondness as he goes off to spend the day with his buds.
I know I matter to husband. I know he cares deeply about me. And I also know that he is relieved that I am able to provide so much of my emotional sustenance for myself. I am learning to enjoy my own company and you will never guess what has happened! I am becoming irresistible to him.