Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Connection Is What We Really Need

Carol said that she wanted to go to bed the other night, but just didn't quite feel settled yet. She'd eaten a nice dinner and felt full that way. Yet she didn't feel satisfied somehow. She felt a lingering emotional charge. "The day left me itching emotionally. Incomplete. Like there was something more I needed." Often, the something more she goes to is online sexual chatrooms. They cover over that yucky feeling for a while, but then leave her feeling worse afterward. Carol has been working to stay with her unsettled feelings and reach out to her husband, Rob, instead.

So Carol walked into the kitchen where Rob was eating a bowl of cereal. "I feel like I've been jarred around today. I need a place or a way to retreat and have some soothing and some peace." Rob laughed, "You need peace? Good luck finding it in this three ring circus!" She was glad he was in a good mood, and she knew he meant well, but she also felt that her call out to him hadn't registered at all. She had reached as a bid for his attention and help in finding comfort, but he hadn't realized that she had a serious need that she was trying to bring to him.

It would have been very easy for Carol to retreat and give up. But persistent needs require persistent self-advocating. "I know that things aren't likely to change around here. We're not going to be hiring a maid or shipping off any of our kids to boarding school." Rob laughed again. "But can I come to you when I've had a rough day and just have you spend some one-on-one time with me? I'd love it if I could just put my head on your shoulder and have you run your fingers through my hair."

Rob put down his spoon and stood up and put his arms around Carol. Then he started talking with French accent. "Shh," Carol said. "Can we just go over and sit on the couch quietly? You know I love your sense of humor, but right now my heart needs some real quiet soothing." Rob sighed and smiled and took her by the hand and did just that.

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