Marriage Monday: Ask for What You Need or Want

My background is in Education, and my degree is technically a dual major in Elementary and Special Education. A BIG deal in Special Education, specifically, but also throughout the younger grades, was for a child to ask for what s/he needs or wants.

Side note: this goes a long way in parenting, too. An 18-month old child is capable of speaking or signing "Juice, please." or "Drink, please." Which is FAR preferable to the child pointing and shrieking at the juice cup. Any child that has been taught to ask for what he or she needs or wants is much more enjoyable to be around than those that have not.

True, I get VERY lazy (and sarcastic) in my parenting and have been known to either respond to the teenage equivalent of point/ shriek (the grunt) by handing them what they want or the "We're out of milk..." with a snarky, "That's interesting. How do you plan for it to appear on the shopping list?"

Newsflash: Adults must also ask for what they need or want!

So, why am I surprised when my spouse is unable to read my mind? I have realized that after nineteen  years of marriage (next Monday! Woot!) that sometimes I STILL expect him to magically know my schedule and that I need him to pick up some slack or that I need him to do something he doesn't usually or that I need him to do 'x'.

Guess what? He doesn't know. He is an awesome man, but he still can't read my mind. And for me to become angry at him for not knowing what I need or want before I have actually verbalized it is the equivalent to him becoming angry at me for not being able to sprout wings and fly over the traffic. Which would be totally way cool, but I still can't do it.

When life gets that evil "b" word (busy) it's easy to start going our own way and make thoughts, plans and expectations on our own. When we fail to ask for what we need or want, resentment piles up as we assume our needs are being ignored altogether.

I say it often: Communication is very fragile.

Now I will say this often: Ask for what you need or want.


Roxanne Langley said...

Very, very, VERY well said and very, very VERY good point. . .as long as you don't always expect to get it.

Sarah S. said...

Excellent point -- but you sure shootin' will not get it 100% of the time that you don't ask. Yes, it is wise to realize you are an adult, talking/ asking of an adult with his/ her own idea and agenda of how life may be going. That's what is called "communication." When it works, it is truly a lovely, lovely thing.

Jamie Kocur said...

Such a good point. My husband and I have strong communication, but we have moments where tiredness sets in and we don't always say all we need to. I have to constantly remember that he's not a mind reader (although he is really good at reading my body language!).

Design by Deluxe Designs