To be good at any relationship, you need to accomplish two basic tasks:
- Understand the needs of the other
- Respond appropriately.
“Her Voice” is a reflection on what generally a woman who raises children needs from her husband.
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Why I need you as a King
“As a mother, I feel in my body nearly everything our kids experience. I feel their pain, I feel their joy. They are like a part of me. I am as vulnerable as they are, as sad as they are, and as happy as they are. You will never understand the intensity of this experience. It is not that I have become some kind of moody and unpredictable person. I get emotional and distressed for a reason. I echo their experiences when they are anxious, needy, demanding, and unpredictable.
Their demand for my attention can feel totally overwhelming. You may ignore their crying, but I feel compelled to respond. Their chaos may become my own internal chaos. Fog, self-doubts, and confusion can overtake me. When I am not able to stop their pain, I feel lost, powerless, and inadequate. To help me in such moments of turmoil, I need you to remain centered and make sure our life is in order. I need you to support me by taking the lead to ensure a stable and safe environment for us. This will make me feel secure and calm.”
Why I need you as a Lover
“I am ‘feelings,’ I deeply feel the experiences of those that I love. I feel their joy and their pain. My sensitivity is both my strength and my weakness. Sometimes I cannot differentiate myself from the people I love. When my boundaries dissolve and I become emotional, I need you to be the strong man who can hold me during my vulnerability. This demonstrates your love and care for me. I want to fully trust that you are there when I need you and that you feel the same way about me. This is how I feel the love between us.
But if you turn away from me or turn against me, it goes straight to my heart and hurts me deeply. I feel misunderstood, alone, and even betrayed. I need to know that I am your first priority, that you are always there for me and that we are connected.
Please stay connected. Always. Communicate with me through any means available. Text messages and phone calls are always welcome. Your hugs are like good drugs.
And please let me know what you need as well! Never shut me out. I feel better when I know all about you because it enables me to support you. Please don’t interpret this as controlling, but as caring. I want us to bring out the best in each other so that we can be the family we dream to be.”
Why I need you as a Magician
“I can get very emotional at times and even volatile. I am not always sure why. It could be due to my hormones, the kids, general anxiety, or many other things that I take to heart. When my cup of distress is getting full, I need to release some of it. I may even offload it on you. Please don’t take it personally. I really don’t mean to upset you. I need your understanding and presence during these times. I am in a fog, overwhelmed by my feelings and my racing mind. If you react, you are sucked into my vortex. I need you to stay grounded and not buy into it. Stay close to me but keep some distance from my emotional mess. Your clarity and centeredness will help me get back to myself faster.
Just hold me, don’t rush to fix me or problem-solve. I need you to listen patiently without judgment. And don’t identify with my pain. Stay clear of that. Allowing me the space to process my hurt and release it provides me with the greatest support. Just be that space for me, and I will do the rest. I need you in such moments to help me keep things in perspective.”
Why I need you as a Warrior
“I can tolerate many of your annoying behaviors, but seeing you weak is unsettling for me. I need you to stand strong, strong with your will, strong with your position, and strong with your words. I need you to be a man. Yes, even if I am a passionate feminist! Living in a female body, I am vulnerable. Recall how protective you are with our daughter. You understand how the world can be unsafe for women at any time and in any place. I need to know that you are strong and can stand up for me, for us.
But can you stand up for me if you can’t stand up to me?!
If you avoid conflicts because you are afraid; if you are too dependent on me; if you lose it with emotional outbursts; if you don’t know what you want in your life; if you are a pushover; all of these things make me feel like I am living with a boy, not a man. You are guaranteed to lose my respect. Pleasing me to keep the peace will only achieve the opposite result. I may please people in order to be liked, but it often comes at a great cost. I don’t want you to do the same. You win my respect when I appreciate how you assert your boundaries, and how you look after yourself, your interests, your career, and us as a family. Please be strong for us so we can feel safe.”