YOUR TRUTH (A Reminder)
It’s all too easy to come to believe we’re asking for too much when involved with an AS partner. We lose sight of our normal human needs (although they are still there). It happens insidiously as the AS person shapes us with their reactions. And when you add to that an army of supposed experts advising us to stop “bothering” our AS partner with our needs and feelings and to cater only to theirs, it’s strong reinforcement.
The expert advice too often given to wives and partners who go in search of help: “Do not have any expectations.” “Do not speak in an emotional manner.” “Be direct and stick to the facts.” “Get your support from others, not your spouse.” “Do not burden him with your issues.” It seems these experts are just as mindblind to us as the AS partner is.
When we seek help only to get more of what’s causing our problems in the first place—invalidation, denial of our normal needs, and disregard—we are DEHUMANIZED. As human beings, we all have innate emotional needs. If these needs aren’t met, our emotional, psychological and physical health will suffer. Having emotional needs does not mean we’re selfish or needy; it means we’re normal. We can not just set these needs aside, nor should we be expected to.
When we are made to feel selfish, needy and guilty for wanting to be loved, valued and treated with respect, and for not being able to give up those needs and expectations, it’s important to be reminded of our truth.
Your emotional needs include:
The need to be acknowledged.
The need to be accepted.
The need to be listened to.
The need to be understood.
The need to be loved.
The need to be appreciated.
The need to be respected.
The need to be valued.
The need to feel worthy.
The need to be trusted.
The need to feel capable and competent.
The need to be supported.
The need to be safe, both physically and emotionally.
How many of those needs are (or were) being met in your relationship with an AS husband or partner? Not having those needs fulfilled is the main reason we suffer in these relationships.
We have the right to have expectations for our relationships, especially with our significant other. Our expectations are based on our needs, which are just as important as anyone else’s. In fact, very REASON we seek relationships is to have our needs met—needs for love, support, safety, etc. ***The expectation of a mutually fulfilling adult relationship is normal and healthy. Ask any developmental psychologist.
You also have BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. Every one of us has these rights:
I have the right to my own needs and feelings and to have them be as important as anyone else’s.
I have the right to experience my feelings and to express them, if I want to.
I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect by everyone I come into contact with.
I have the right to express my opinions.
I have the right to choose who I spend my time with.
I have the right to choose who I share my body with.
I have the right to be listened to respectfully.
I have the right to ask for what I want.
I have the right to say no.
I have the right to set limits and boundaries.
I have the right to set limits on how I will be treated by others.
I have the right to walk away from relationships that I determine are not good for me.
I have the right to have my boundaries respected.
I have the right to decide what my priorities are.
I have the right to choose how I live my life.
I have the right to change my life situation.
I have the right to make mistakes.
I have the right to develop and express my talents and interests.
I also have the right to have these basic human rights, and I have the right to stand up for them.
If a relationship does not meet our needs or expectations, denies us our basic rights and is harming us, what is the point? We end up as nothing more than a caretaker to a person who isn’t capable of appreciating it, and at great personal cost.
None of us is obligated to give up our lives, our health and our selves and for an adult partner, no matter what the reason. If you choose to that’s your right as well, but there is no social obligation to be neglected and/or abused. We must not listen to anyone who tries to tell us otherwise. YOU are the ONLY one who gets to decide how you’ll live your life.
Love to all of you.