Today I’m frustrated with the misunderstandings created by making assumptions. Before I move on I want to say that I also get caught up in making them on occasion. I work against the urge though as it doesn’t allow for any genuine intimacy [in-to-me-I-see].
Yesterday I received a message from my sister that read, “Ok, what do I have to do?” Her assumption is that I have an expectation of her that she is not meeting because I’ve chosen to step away from the relationship for the time being. I’ve told her that I’m not sure what it is that I’m struggling with, I just don’t feel comfortable engaging in relationship with her at this time. Which is the truth. In the past, if she asked me to give her a reason, I would have made something up so neither of us would have to feel the discomfort of the truth. The problem is she would then do whatever it is I asked of her, then have the expectation that all would be well because she did. Then I would have to lie and say that it is, even if it isn’t.
Recently I called a woman I know to ask her for the time of a particular meeting I was to speak at. I really just wanted to know the time the meeting began so I would know when to arrive. She however assumed I was asking her if she would come and support me while I spoke. Immediately she began to scheme out loud as to how she could change her plans for the evening, so she could show up to support me, which she did. When she arrived she sat down in the chair next to me which made me feel like a child, which made me feel a bit angry, which made me feel a little guilty. I thanked her for being there for me, which made me feel resentful toward her. Why didn’t I tell her I didn’t want or need her to be there for me? I didn’t want her to think I was an asshole. I was afraid if I told her the truth she wouldn’t like me.
My experiences have taught me that more times than not, after someone shows up for you in this way, they have an expectation that you will then be glad they did. If you aren’t and you let them know this by say, not responding in the way they hope you will, they’re uncomfortable and many times get angry. Which usually manifests with them backing way off. Making an assumption that you don’t need, want, or deserve support because you didn’t receive what they offered you, in the way they offered it. They rarely, if ever, ask what it is that you want or need, then do that. Perhaps they assume I will ask for more than they can or are willing to give, and most likely, I will.
Last week I asked a group of women that were in the habit of telling me they love me, not to. They are not family and I would not call most of them close friends. They are a group of good people who have a common interest and goal, but for me, being in love with each other, has nothing to do with the desired outcome we are all hoping for. For me love is an action. Hard work much of the time. At the very least, the action I’m looking for is to respect who I am, whether you agree or not. And when I use the word respect, I’m referring to refraining from intruding upon or interfering with my life. To accept me for who and what I am. The people I asked not to say I love you to me are people I felt were patronizing me by telling me they loved me. These women are assuming it’s what I want and need. Assuming that when I say it’s not what I want or need, I don’t know what’s best for me. They seem to assume that by saying “I love you” they are in some way doing something for me. They also expect me to respond accordingly, which most times I can’t, in good conscience anyway.
I’ve come to realize that other people’s assumptions about what they think I want and need, what they think I “should” want and need, has been a problem for me for most of my life. I get really confused about it. Don’t want to make people uncomfortable, or to be cast off as someone who is too much of a problem. This I believe may be the root of it for me. I can’t count the times I have been in a situation like the ones above, not done what I was supposed to do according to whatever assumption someone was making, and was therefore rejected as someone who is much to difficult to get along with. It’s true, I’m impossible to get along with, if you’re hoping to have a relationship with me based on assumptions about what’s ‘normal,’ and therefore what I want or need.
My husband and I have been married for twelve plus years. He was 43 when we married and had no intention of ever getting married. He’s a handsome, capable, sexy fun guy who had lots of girlfriends along the way. When I asked him why he married me, why he stays with me, [other than I'm wonderful, wink], he says he saved the best for last. He also says that having a relationship with me is like climbing Mount Everest. Not everyone can or wants to do it. But if it’s your thing, and you’re fit to make the climb, the reward, the view from the top is amazing.