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My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Please, and Thank You

In attorneys, Break-up, children, civil unions, court, Crying, Current events, dating, Divorce, domestic, family, gay, gay marriage, grief, homosexuality, kisses, law enforcement, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Love, Marriage, movies, news, parenting, portland oregon, promises, single, vows, women on April 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm

One of her constant complaints about me, was I didn’t say “Thank You” enough. 

See, she’s from the South. Saying “Thank You” is like verbally placing a period after every sentence. Where I grew up, saying Thank You was more of a formality. We showed our appreciation by being there, the action. If you brought me tea, I’d show my appreciation with a kiss, some sort of action. But I quickly learned she’s all about the words.

In my house, raised primarily by my Grandparents, we showed appreciation more in action. Typical household responsibility was expected as a normal part of family living, so we didn’t really say Thank You for those things. We’d say “hey, that looks nice” but to say Thank You for the expected actions seemed a bit formal. Our appreciation and love was shown by being there, and being consistent. My Grandpatents showed me love in always keeping their door open. Up until the day they passed away, I could walk through the door without knocking. They weren’t very affectionate, but they took care of us, and because they they took care of us, I knew they loved me.

Because we grew up with no real physical affection, that’s a skill I had to learn when I had my own children. And let’s face it. . sometimes we get so busy taking care of our family, that we have to stop and remind ourselves to meet them where they need us. Not just where we think they need us with, clean laundry.

But she was all about the words, so I worked very hard to remember to say “Thank You” for every action, even typical everyday expected actions from anyone in a family. Like, putting socks on the boys or doing dishes. Sometimes I’d screw up and forget in my hectic with the 4 boys. I’m lucky I remember my name. Heck, sometimes I call them by the wrong name. But when I would remember, I’d make sure to say it as quickly as I remembered.

However, she was so bothered that saying Thank You wasn’t an automatic way of showing appreciation, that she would minimize it and take it away. “You don’t mean it and I know it. So it doesn’t matter.” is what she would say. So now saying Thank You wasn’t good. I seemed to be stuck in an impossible expectation. Did I mean it everytime I said it? Absolutely. Was saying it to the degree she needed it something I had to learn? Well, yeah. But I learned to meet her where she needed me, not where I thought she needed me, because I love her. Hell, if doing a cartwheel everytime she washed a dish was something she needed, I’d learn to develop that skill too. But the fact I even had to learn to vocalize my appreciation in the way she needed it, instead of showing it in the way that’s natural to me, just made her feel I wasn’t the right one for her.

I don’t know anyone who’s walked into a relationship with 100% of the skills needed to make our partner happy. It’s about learning, developing, and putting our love in action to acquire or evolve to meet our partners half way. You need me to say “Thank You” for every thing? No problem. But realize it’s not something I say every five minutes naturally, but I’ll be dang sure to if that’s what you need. And you can be certain my efforts are not blowin’ smoke up your ass, because anything you tell me you need, my love for you is the motivator to give you what you need.

What did I need? Well, more than once I told her what made me feel appreciated was, I needed touch. When you walk by me in the kitchen, a quick touch made me feel recognized and loved. A unprovoked hug, or kiss. Damn, I can’t express how much it made me feel desired, appreciated and loved. But, that wasn’t really her style, she is more about the words, and I’m all about the action.

The only piece I saw that was a huge roadblock for us, was if she didn’t feel appreciated enough, she would withdraw her affections. So there were many times I felt almost subconsciously held accountable for my changes. That sucked. Because as much as my wife needed me to praise her, I needed her touch. But it didn’t stop me. It might have discouraged my heart, but it didn’t stop me. Because it wasn’t about what she could give me all of the time, I just wanted to see that girl smile.

Does it mean we’re all wrong if we have to work at change to meet our partners needs? No. In fact, I think someone who’s willing to work at it, says a lot. It shows endurance, love and loyalty. To her, it showed weakness, lack of compassion and red flags.

I’m not sure how I could have made her see the meaning behind my saying “Thank You” everytime I sad it, and she challenged it. I guess I could have challenged her sincerity everytime she gave me a hug, but what would that have accomplished? Besides, I needed those hugs.

She said it was just another sign how too different we were, and I saw it was just another opportunity to show my love.

I really could use a hug right now.

 

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