Chapter 14

(I deleted this after some fairly scathing feedback about how immature and weak it shows me to be. Having thought about it, I’ve reinstated the post. Everything I was told may be true, but I’ve also promised to tell the truth of how I feel here. That said, I now appreciate that much of what I wrote in this post was stuff I want as opposed to stuff I need. Clearly I have some work to do to understand the difference between the two.)

Needs. Obviously we all have them, but I don’t know if I’ve ever actually stopped and worked out what mine are. And if I’ve never done that, how can I possibly work out if they’re being met? Considering that, it’s actually rather unfair to blame my partner for not meeting my needs when I’ve probably never been very good at articulating them, or even understanding them.

Consequently, I want to take the time to figure out what my needs are, and hopefully I can explore them here so that I’m at least some way prepared for these therapy sessions.

While I’m fully aware that this list is more or less a pipe dream – or rather, expecting another human to be able to meet these needs is a pipe dream – it’s going to be helpful to get my needs down on paper, if nothing else.

My Needs:

I need to feel respected, trusted and admired for the person I am, not the person they want me to be. I need a high level of intimacy with my partner.

I need to be financially secure enough to provide for my children.

I need to provide my children with everything necessary to meet their needs.

I need to be a good father.

I need someone who respects my desire not to live outside my means and won’t continually pressure me to do this.

I need someone who focuses on appreciating what we have as opposed to complaining about what we don’t have.

I need someone who doesn’t dwell in negativity. I need someone who appreciates that I am doing my best to make them happy, not who continually points out all the things I haven’t managed to provide.

I need someone who will not withhold physical affection and intimacy as a way of controlling the relationship.

I need someone who communicates with me, and is willing to do more than drop hints in the hope I might guess what problems they are having.

I need someone who understands that sometimes – often – I want to wrap them in my arms and hold them and caress them and kiss them, and that pushing me away in those moments feels like rejection and it hurts.

I need someone who understands that I have outlets, and supports and encourages me in those outlets.

I need a partner who doesn’t get irritated or impatient with me when I’m unwell, simply because I am unwell.

I need someone who understands and appreciates my views on religion and sex.

I need someone who can move on after a quarrel, not endlessly bring up the things I “always” do continually in future arguments.

I need affirmation. Yes I am needy. Yes I am insecure. Not with the rest of the world, but sometimes around her, I need to be able to let my guard down. And I need someone who doesn’t consider me weak for being that way, but who affirms me and reassures me because they are the only person in the world I can be this vulnerable with.

I need sexual submission in my partner. I need to feel that she trusts me enough to allow me to take control. True, I need her to take control sometimes…but ultimately I need her to submit to me as her man.

I need sexual fulfilment, sex that is vital and urgent, passionate and patient. I need a woman who will surrender completely to me. I need a woman who will sometimes surprise me by taking control.

I need to feel appreciated in my role as a provider. I’m happy to be one, it’s lack of appreciation that’s the killer.

I need to feel desired by my partner, and not that she initiates physical contact like she’s trying to fulfil a quota.

I need to be loving and romantic and need my partner to reciprocate.

I need to be open about my sexual desires, and I need my partner to be willing to do the same.

I need someone I find physically attractive.

I need to feel acknowledged and respected and desired as a man, not treated like a child.

I need to feel accepted, not continually told why I don’t quite measure up.

I need a few minutes of peace and quiet sometimes. I’m not being rude if I zone out, it’s not that I never listen to you. Sometimes I’m just exhausted and I need a breather.

I need someone who understands that me being introverted does not mean I am antisocial. That me recharging with some alone time does not equate to sullenness.

I need trust, and for me that means talking about everything. I can’t do hiding stuff away anymore. No subject should be off the table.

I need to have some things in common with her. I need to share some activities with her and not feel belittled for the things I enjoy, or mocked publicly for enjoying them.

I need sex, the kind of sex I described elsewhere, ideally three or four times a week. Less than twice a week and I get tetchy and feel rejected.

I need to feel wanted, not needed.

I need to feel like I’m being taken care of, and not just a hassle that my partner has to endure.

I need someone who is happy to put our relationship first, because they understand that if we’re happy in our relationship, we’ll be happy in every other relationship, including raising children.

I need my partner to be excited and enthusiastic and generally positive – about sex, about life in general, about everything. I try to be positive but sometimes I fail. I don’t want to feel drained and guilty about normal things.

I need someone who can accept a compliment, not just complain that it’s a lie or I’m only saying it because I’m her partner.

I need to seduce and to be seduced. I need to not be laughed at when I’m at my most vulnerable.

I need for my views about any problems I feel we’re experiencing to not be downplayed or otherwise glossed over by my partner. I need to feel like she hears me and is willing to work on them.

I need to feel like my home is mine, that I have a right and entitlement to be there and not that I get in the way and it would be better if I wasn’t around.

I need mental and intellectual stimulation.

That will do for now, I think. I can consolidate later – there’s a lot of duplication in there, most likely.

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