If she Truly Loved Me she would...
I wanted to start a thread about the assumptions that are generally made about loving and relationships. You know, the ones that make you believe that you don't need to communicate with your partner because if she or he really loves you, they will know instictively what you need or want, and abide by it. These are interesting, because one can find them in one's own thinking, often working on such a subconsious level that it's hard to notice them.
Thankfully, we are told that communication is essential in poly, and thus we can start to notice those assumptions. (Obviously, communication is just as important in mono relationships, but it doesn't get talked about very much. I guess you need to have big problems before you are supposed to work on your communication, precisely cause when you're in love you're assumed to know what your partner wants etc.)
So, which assumptions have you encountered in your own thinking (or your partner's, or just generally come by?
If he truly loved me he would...
- ...call me when I wish him to, and not call when I don't, without me asking him to be in contact more/less.
- ...come and comfort me if I'm having a bad day, without me asking him to (or telling him that I am having a bad day).
- ...know when I wish to be left alone without me telling him that.
- ...know if I'm in the mood for sex, and what kind of touch I want without me communicating it in any way.
- ...basically know what I want without me needing to tell him.
But as far as the belief that a partner should know certain stuff without being told, I think it stems from "magical thinking" -- that idea we are taught that when we meet the right person everything will magically fall into place and all our dreams and desires will be fulfilled. Your list pretty much covered the typical expectations that get placed on a partner. Probably another one to add to those would be knowing when something irritates me or doesn't sit well with me, like being in a situation that I want to leave. I remember getting impatient with my husband for lingering too long at places (parties, etc.) when I really wanted to get the hell out of there, and it annoyed me a few times that I had to tell him. I think we just expect our mates to be in tune with our needs and feelings all the time.
I've been on the receiving end of this before, unfortunately. Both my partner and I had dates and his canceled. I asked if he minded if I still went or if he was feeling down (as being canceled on can do) and wanted me to stay with him that night.
"Oh no, I'm fine, go ahead and have a great time" he said with a smile.
I didn't realize until the next day when I got an angry, depressed text message from him that this wasn't his true feeling.
"Why didn't you tell me what you wanted/needed?" I asked, shocked and concerned.
"You should've KNOWN that it wasn't okay for you to go on your date if I couldn't go on my date."
I'm not a mind reader and I never will be. Even after 5 years, I can still be tricked by a happy tone and a smile, so when I ask what you need I expect honesty...even if its not what you think I want to hear. That's what I told him and I stand by it. My feeling is that he has no right to be upset at my failure to meet his needs if he fails to make them known to me.
Honestly, this can basically be summed up as the following:
"If my partner truly loved me, s/he would be psychic."
Any time the idea of "well, if so-and-so TRULY loved me, then ______." comes up, it should be examined for the presence of mind-reading expectations. This includes things that one party may have thought, or did think, "went without saying". Chances are, just because you knew what you meant or figured something went without saying- that doesn't mean it got across to the other party. No matter how long you've been together or how in love you are or even, how good your communication is on a normal basis.
It's not a happy thing to find yourself on either end of. No one wants to realize that their partner is angry/upset/hurt/insert negative emotion because said partner expected you to be a psychic with a crystal ball. On the other side, no one wants to admit they were angry/upset/hurt/whatever because they "thought" or "expected" or "figured" - who wants to have to admit a feeling might not be justified because of lack of communication on your OWN part?
I'm not a big fan of this type of ultimatum. When I really love someone, my actions reflect that - not whether I have a psychic connection with them and can anticipate their every move. Frankly I'm smart, but not quite intelligent enough to appear prescient.
I would counter the "if he truly loved me" questions with a "if you truly loved him, would you expect that" question.
I've definitely encountered the if he loved me he'd know what I needed with out being told and when that happened it cause a major fight. Most of the time I can usually guess what it is my girlfriend wants because I know her so well, but on this occasion it was something she hadn't needed before and it built until she snapped and started scream yelling and crying, which from my view point was really unfair. My stand point was if you don't tell me when you need certain things, how am I supposed to know, I'm not a mind reader and women can be quite complex at times. Again I think this comes back to communication. If you feel your partner is giving you what you need, tell them in a way that isn't accusing them of anything, tell them in a safe and mutual place so they don't feel they're being attacked and again remember people aren't mind readers and sometimes they'll get it wrong or just wont know whats missing
I've run across the "if you loved me you wouldn't spend time with anyone else" person.
This was before I learned about polyamoury so I didn't have a problem, mentally, giving him my all. He didn't present this way in the beginning, unfortunately. He turned out to be a real thorn in my side though and I eventually left him for a better life!
Never, in the history of relationships, has this or will this ever be a reasonable or effective way to communicate in a relationship. I might go so far as to say that people posting that "I'm usually good at ____" are enablers, lol.
In my relationships - at least since I grew a brain about these things - my policy is, if you don't tell me and I fail to anticipate or correctly guess, that's not my fault. If you tell me something other than the truth and expect for me to know that what you're saying isn't what you mean - that's YOUR fault. I will ALWAYS act on what I'm told.
Some partners seem to get this better than others, lol. The ones that try to argue after either not telling me something or flat telling me something else get blank stares as a best case, laughed at to their face as a worst, and numerous things in between depending on just how unreasonable they're being about it. I once had almost word for word the following conversation:
"I'm sorry you feel that way, but that's not what you told me."
"You knew what I meant!!"
"No, I knew what you told me."
"But that's not what I meant AND YOU KNEW IT!!"
"I say again, all I knew was what you told me. You were not exactly unclear about it. We had an entire conversation on the subject."
"If you really understood me you would know what I really mean when I say something."
"If you really understood me, we wouldn't be having this conversation, because you'd know better than to say something you didn't mean in the first place."
"So you DID know!"
"No, that's not what I said."
"I know what you meant!"
"Are you serious right now?"
And on and on it goes... Say what you mean, do what you say. A good recipe for living your life in general, a better one for relationships. Is this REALLY all that complicated? Failing to communicate and holding your partner responsible for it is bad enough, but saying something other than what you mean and then holding them responsible for it? SERIOUSLY?
Just for giggles, I'm going to throw out a reversal that I hope won't offend anyone (I'm to to horribly gender stereotype with it for simplicities sake). It seems that women do this thing more often than men. Not that it's ALWAYS the ladies, but it IS more of the female thing to do, lol. So - what would a woman who say, handled dinner making, think of THIS one?
"Babe, I'm really hungry. What do you have in mind for dinner?"
"Well, what would you like for dinner?"
"I'm thinking lasagna. Can you make lasagna?"
"Yeah, it'll take a little while though, are you sure you don't want something faster?"
"I'm good, thanks!"
60 minutes later...
"Baby, you KNEW I was starving and it took you over an hour to make dinner! Is it EVER going to be ready?!"
"You asked for lasagna. I told you it would take a while."
"I said I would LIKE lasagna."
"Yes, and I made it."
"Over an hour later! We could have had pizza in like, 1/3 the time!"
"You said you wanted lasagna and when I said it would take a while you said you were fine!"
"Oh come on. You know what I meant!"
And so on... See how that sucks? Can we all - men and women - agree to NEVER DO THIS AGAIN please?
I get: "You should know I would never do/say anything to hurt you on purpose"
Took me 19 years to realize that when my husband used the words "What I said was...", he really was really trying to say "What I meantwas...":rolleyes:
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