I’ve read a lot and I’ve written before about a person’s responsibility to communicate with their romantic partner, because people aren’t mind-readers. I obviously agree with this. But I’ve always had a hard time speaking up about my needs and asking for help, and I know I’m not alone in that regard. It seems to be a fairly common trait. We don’t want to upset people…we don’t want to be a bother…we don’t want to be rejected based on some need or desire or even just information that we communicate with our partner. With J, I’ve greatly improved in this facet of communication, but I’m still not great at it with him, and I’m still decidedly *terrible* at it with other people. I’m just not that proverbial squeaky wheel, so I’ve historically not received all the proverbial grease I could have used. Sometimes, I’m even unsure of my own needs…I just feel ‘off,’ but I have no clue what will correct the problem. That’s odd, since I can usually anticipate other people’s needs. But mine seem hard to pinpoint and deal with.
I got inspired to write today, because I was chatting with a friend on Sunday about how J is a Car Guy. And he’s not just a guy who enjoys looking at and driving cars, or is a fan of a certain make or model of cars. He’s like…freakishly skilled when it comes to cars. He kind of IS like Marisa Tomei’s character in My Cousin Vinny.
Like, it’s that encyclopedic knowledge, but PLUS these superhuman abilities to troubleshoot and fix machines. And that got me thinking about how J’s sensitivity and skill with complicated machinery and how it works actually compensates for my poor communication skills when it comes to what I want and need and when I need help.
Here’s an example…
Before we were engaged, we were on our way to meet friends for drinks on a Friday night, when J turned the radio down in his car, and asked me, ‘Do you hear that?’
I did not. ‘Listen hard.’ I still didn’t hear it. He was convinced there was (forgive me here…I’m a pretty smart gal, but the intricacies of the modern automobile escape me) a loose bearing (right, J? or something…) in the passenger door (or somewhere…right?). He clearly heard a noise that was nonexistent to me. But I trusted him that it was there, and he was definitely hearing it.
The door (or somewhere) totally did have Whatever Problem He Heard, and he repaired it himself.
I guess this post (just like most of what I post) is gratitude for J, and appreciation that he is certainly the right partner for me. I do have to communicate my needs more clearly, and he’s helping me get better at that with his patience and reassurance. But I’m fortunate that I don’t have to be a squeaky wheel, because J is the kind of man that checks to make sure all his wheels are properly greased before they get a chance to squeak.