The battle a man engages in to understand the complex and ever-changing mind of a woman, her wants, her needs, her feelings, is one of the most valiant efforts of all time.
I’ve never met a husband who claims to be a mind reader. A woman’s mind is such a confusing place for a man, or so I’ve been told. After all, we women seem to constantly make up our minds only to turn around and change them.
There have been days out of sheer frustration and desperation that my dear husband has implored me just to tell him what I want or need because he can’t read my mind. This plea is understandable and completely valid.
A few months after we were married I woke up one morning to dozens of text messages and phone calls. Immediately, my gut told me that something terrible had happened and I was right. A dear friend of mine died in a car wreck the night before. Hanging up the phone after initially hearing the news, I called my husband who had left early that morning for a bike ride with his brother. He answered the phone and had already heard the news. He planned on telling me when he got home, and once I was awake; he didn’t think I was going to wake up as early as I did. Rather than stopping their bike ride to come home, they finished the ride and he came home four hours later.
Most of that day was a blur, but what I do remember vividly was my husband walking through the door and into my fury because he didn’t leave as soon as I had called him to come home and be with me at a time like that.
He didn’t know that I wanted and needed him to come home right away. And I didn’t have the wherewithal to verbalize what I wanted and needed at that moment.
Standing there screaming at a glass-shattering pitch, using various colorful adjectives to describe how I felt about him, then throwing the broom that was in my hands onto the floor; he stared back at me in total alarm and that culminated in this light bulb moment for us.
That moment, even out of the blur of tears and anger, I distinctly remember him saying ‘Mer you have no idea how badly I want to be able to give you what you want or what you need but sometimes I don’t know what that is.’
There is a strange middle ground in a marriage where your deep desire to meet the wants and needs of your spouse happens in a healthy, caring and loving way that also isn’t codependent. That’s what we began to understand that day.
He wanted to love me too and give me exactly what I needed that day; he just couldn’t read my mind.
You have to say what you want or need.
That’s what we learned that day.
If you don’t know what you want or need, that’s ok, but he can’t read your mind, and the ball is not in his court to keep guessing and stabbing in the dark to figure it out.
It’s s a delicate dance. Having the vulnerability to ask for what you want or need is crucial. But you must also trust that your spouse, though they may not know exactly what it is, longs to give you what you need. It requires vulnerability and takes trust but verbalizing your wants and need is imperative to paving the road to intimacy.