I've given my WH numerous letters and have outlined my needs for R, primarily based on what I've read here and in several books.
So, in our second meeting, our MC assigned "homework" for us each to write up a list of our needs. Was thinking I would ask you all for your input...
Do you think I should separate out list of needs for R and A recovery from list of needs for a healthier M? I'm afraid my list could get very long. Keep it general or give specifics?
Have any of you done this? I'm posting this not only for my own help, but thinking this could be a good list for others too?
R and A Recovery
- Sincere specific apologies
- NC (physical, emotional, and MENTAL)
- Accountability (figure out your why's, don't blameshift, seek help, share your progress/insights with me)
- Transparency (actions that inspire trust, not me being a PI)
- Learn my triggers and respond compassionately, not with self-focused behaviors and defensiveness
- Work on healing relationships with kids
- Reassurance (physical, emotional, mental)
- Improve emotional intimacy, share feelings/thoughts
- Improve communication skills
- Continue to speak each other's Love Languages and learn to recognize, understand, and appreciate all the languages.
- Turn toward one another first with M concerns, not outward
- Recognize our M weaknesses pre-A and continue to fix them
- Schedule and spend quality time together
- Prioritize me and our family while balancing with work and "working out"
- Truthfulness, authenticity
That's a start. What say you?
For *me* I need to feel that all work is for R and A recovery. H has brought up the marriage thing a few times (months ago) and it set me on edge.
I feel that everything you listed under M, applies to the first list. As in, if we're not communicating we're not in R. If we're not spending most of our time together, we're not in R. If he's not making me and my emotional well being a priority, we're not in R. And for me I feel like this (me) needs to be the focus until I feel safe again. My guess is that all this communicating and togetherness will drastically improve our M but if not then we can work on it later, when I have more strength.
(I'm implying but I guess I need to state that I also expect my H to be working on himself throughout all this)
She described Needs as "deal-breakers". These things MUST be present in order for the M to succeed.
My first couple of NEEDs were,
Honesty - tell me the truth at all times
Tell me when you are bothered by me or someone else. Don't bury it!
Respect me/family time - Talk to me before you makes plans with the guys
Back me up during stressful times with our kids.
Have my back w family members who take advantage
A few WANTS....
Say my name - I like my name and I want to hear it!
Fix things around the house or hire someone who can
Date night once/week. This is really difficult to do some weeks. Our marriage won't crumble if we don't get to it once/week but it would be a NEED once/month!
A few VALUES....
Marriage, Family, Integrity, Honesty, Friendship, Community
I also put physical fitness and volunteerism as something that is for me only but good for my mental and physical well being and that would be good for our M.
BTW, I now see that while we are doing most of these things one year after the exercise was given to us, we REALLY (really) have to work on our COMMUNICATION styles. We have to be very clear when making plans and practically spell things out so there are no disappointments, misunderstandings, etc.
Its a worthwhile exercise. Don't worry about making the list HUGE SS1. Bigger doesn't mean better - if you can get at the meaty stuff first, the rest gets easier.
[This message edited by LA44 at 12:30 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]
Get some help for your issues....
Do the steps necessary to make me feel safe again...
My list now- years out???
The above... and also....
really 'get' what you have done and put your own guilt and feelings aside to help me recover the rest of the way.
Do the little things you know make me happy.
Never threaten to leave me in any way... show me you are in this together till we are old and senile.... even through the rough times. I figure if I can stay with him through what he did, then he can tough out any future rough patches there are so we can grow old together.
Read the damn books I bought you long ago.
Stop the friggin pity party for yourself... find out if you still feel guilty WHY you did this so I don't ever have to repeat this.
Help me feel safe.
I agree that these all interrelate and maybe I need to stick to the "biggies" because some of the smaller things should be a natural outcome of the bigger things. It just really helps to get objective experienced eyes looking at it.
In some of my letters, I've outlined needs for R and seem to get some parts more than others. In a recent letter to WH, I changed the list slightly (like I need you to be committed to mental NC, committed to whatever it takes to discover your 'why's, respond compassionately to my triggers, and more) and finally got a detailed response back from him, committing to those things.
I thought I should broaden my list to include non-A specific items, but you are right, many of these are what is necessary to R in the first place.
Somedays, I just feel like this:
I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.