In this post Meredith thinks about how well her husband knows her. Going off of the last post where she acknowledged that I know her more deeply than the man she’s been with for nine years. The way he treats her is almost like a pet. When she does something great “Good job Meredith!” with a pat on the head. There is no further inquiry into her thoughts or feelings. He doesn’t respect her as the intelligent woman she is. No wonder he doesn’t know her.
Pairing that with how he thinks he knows her and it’s a disaster. Without knowing her well he inserts his own desires for hers thereby making assumptions about what she wants rather than asking. He gets it wrong! This happens with my wife and me all the time. She will get little things and big things wrong. After 18 years how could she not know what kind of mustard I like or what my dreams are for the future? Meredith is asking the same of her husband. It’s because they don’t pay attention. It’s not core to their own world. In my case my wife will say confidently that I like X when in fact she is the one who likes X and I never have. I will look at her quizzically and wonder where that came from. She inserted her own tastes for mine.
Meredith kind of nails it with what H desires. You know who else desires that? My wife! I sometimes think my wife and H would be perfect together. Whereas both Meredith and myself want and need someone who will delve deep into our minds with us. Someone to push us to be better. All those things that piss off H and my wife when we try them. Yet those same qualities drew Meredith and I together.
I cannot tell you how strange it felt to say the things I said to Meredith about my inner world and about how she should improve herself, and to NOT be met by major resistance. In fact it was met with love. My brain had a hard time comprehending such things. It is what she needs though. And she did the same for me.
The direct lecture analogy! Both my wife and H are this way, “just tell me what you need!” they will say. They don’t know how to go find it. They don’t know how to do the project. They both just want us to tell them everything we think they should know unprompted and they sort of expect that we will. In fact I think they are both offended that they don’t know us that well. As if it is our fault they didn’t learn who we were.
I can’t. I need to get these thoughts out.
Last night H and I had a long talk about how I’m feeling and what we both want from marriage. It came because he made a few assumptions about what I would want yesterday and I had to tell him “no, that’s not what I want!”
H wants comfort, someone to balance him, someone he admires, and respect.
I want to be known: mind, body, and spirit. I want to be respected, loved, and help being my best self as a result of the deep knowing.
This morning I’m thinking about H knowing me. And what is so frustrating is that I feel like I’ve been trying to get him to known me for 9 years. So I was thinking about the difference between how he’s trying to get to know me and how I’m trying to let him know me. And the best thing that comes to mind is an education analogy.
The most common way to teach is where the teacher has all the information and just tells the students what they need to know. The best way to teach is where the teacher sets up a project so the students can discover the material and then fills in the gaps as needed.
H is expecting a direct lecture but I’m asking him to engage in a project.
And I kind of feel like that teacher who has a student that doesn’t see the value of the project and has to deal with a student stating “can’t you just teach me whatever is going to be on the test?!”
No. I can’t. I want you to learn the material so you remember it. I want you to have a deep knowing. I want you to explore. I want you to ask questions when you’re truly stuck and I’ll fill in the gaps. I didn’t prepare a lecture. I prepared a project.
My daughter is crying really hard. I guess no meditation or exercise for me today. Bummer.