A Rock Feels No Pain

In despero , obscurum ; In Diligo , Lux lucis. (In despair, darkness; In Love, Light). -Me

Emotional Needs Questionnairre

Emotional Needs

I was reading a series of posts on Digger’s blog, and became intrigued by the Emotional Needs Questionnaire that he had found, and reported on; the first entry is here. I downloaded it, and after thinking about it for a while, presented the idea to Lynn, thinking we could make use of this. I was somewhat hesitant, because lately I feel as if she’s thinking that I’m “thinking too much” about our relationship, and wishing that I could just mellow about it, to a certain extent. Maybe I am, but unfortunately the switch to turn off subjects in my brain is currently out for repair, so I decided to ask her.

When I did, she responded positively, although there were some reservations; partially that, as in Digger’s case, she doesn’t work outside our home, and so there are sections that don’t apply. I suggested we do it anyway, and we’ll talk about the other’s responses to that section, to make sure we’re both clear on how we were thinking when we answered. With that said, we decided to go ahead.

Fast forward a week or so, perhaps a little more, and each of us has worked on our questionnaire off and on. Some questions were indeed difficult to answer, I find it hard to quantify with a numeric value such topics, but did my best; and Lynn was working on hers as well, I know, as she would make the occasional comment about this question, or that one, or mention that she’d been working on it.

Then, I finished mine, and printed it; I asked her what she thought, should we each read the other’s, and discuss them afterward? Should we go through one side by side, discussing as we go? Should we do them simultaneously, discussing the answer we each gave to each question?

Now, she hadn’t finished hers yet, which was fine, and I knew that- as did she, we were discussing the approach for when both were done; but, this is when she made the comment, that she finds it difficult, and on some questions wasn’t putting down what she felt.

My reaction to that was pretty much disbelief, frustration and a little bit of anger. Why would you take the time to do this, and not answer truthfully? Why would you let me take the time to do this, if the exercise is meaningless anyway? She said something to the effect of we could discuss them anyway, but at that point I was so discouraged, I tossed mine and said why bother, if it isn’t real?

Having been alone for a few weeks now, while they’re at the cabin, I was thinking about our relationship some, but also, a lot about my own needs to discuss, to analyze and evaluate it; I ask myself, “Am I over-thinking things? If I am conscious of my emotions, and making sure to share them, is it too much? How can I tell?”

I’ve come to no conclusions, other than that we seem to have differing expectations on how, how much, and what kinds of things we think about and think to share. I want to know the little things that make up her day, who she talked to, what she did, how did she do at poker, all the small things that connect me with her day, as well as how she’s feeling, is she sad or happy, what does she think about the news.. I guess I just like to know about how she’s feeling, and what she’s doing, so I can have that connection to her life.

This post has no real conclusion or end-point, it’s very much just one of my meandering thoughts, but I felt it important enough to write and publish because sometimes, just doing that can help with the “off” switch for me.

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Filed under: marriage, relationship

2 Responses

  1. Snow White says:

    I hope getting it all written down helps… sometimes it works for me, just getting it out of my head allows me to move on to something else. Good luck! Hugs!

  2. Digger Jones says:

    You know you actually were doing pretty well with it, up until you had sort of a meltdown. As you know, I couldn’t even get my wife to *start* the thing let alone discuss it.

    I think you still might have had something to gain by talking these issues over with her. She might simply have a more difficult time writing her thoughts than you, and the verbal exchange might have been worth your while. Afterall, I viewed this as a starting point to a discussion not an endpoint exercise itself. even if she wasn’t completely honest, she at least let you know that much which is an invitation to get the real truth out.

    Yeah, it is frustrating. but your post does make me think about how couples relate to each other. It seems there is always one who is more into the relationship than the other. Are we just higher maintenance? More anxious? Or are we more devoted or in love than our partners?

    Something to think about.

    D.

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