Nov 162014

Throughout our relationship, I was diligent about never asking J for things he wouldn’t do, or couldn’t do. I never asked him to put me above his work, his dreams, or his plans — not even in small ways. I never called on him in such a way that he was forced to choose between what he should do, what he needed to do, and what I wanted him to do. It’s not that I never needed him — I did — I just never asked.

In part, it’s because I never wanted to put him in that position, and in part, it’s because I hate hearing no.’ To me, ‘no’ sounds like rejection, and in my head, it negates things that had nothing to do with whatever-it-is that was asked for.

But I should have.

I should have asked for more.

That realization came to me four months ago just past 2am on a unkempt two lane highway that cuts across the state, halfway between his place and mine.

I spent the prior months in as much blissful denial and sugar-coated idealism as I could maintain. (For the record, my idealism was for the future, not the present.) There was some anger here and there, but it was managed well-enough… because we still had more time. I still had little, happy things to look forward to and small comforts to wrap myself in.

But then I realized I was running out of both.

There was no more time and nothing to look forward to, and then there were no small comforts left.

I had no idea what I intended to say to J that night, but I knew I should have asked for more.

More love? More attention? More reassurance? More time…?

It didn’t matter — he had none left to give. I don’t feel bad for having wanted it, but I would have felt awful if I had asked… because I hate asking, but mostly, because I hate hearing “no.”


  8 Responses to “I should have asked for more”

  1. This is on a smaller scale (I think), but Jalan also hates hearing “no.” As a result, since my illness hit almost two years ago now, we’ve almost never played at the level she wants/needs to. She doesn’t want to hear “no; I can’t do that” (even aside from the fear of having me wrecked for days).

    We’ve talked a lot about this over the last few months. How for me to communicate in advance of her decision whether I’m having a bad-health day. How for me to suck it up if she moves on when I am having a bad-health day, whether I’ve communicated it or not. How I don’t get to say no. How I don’t get to ask to be excused after she starts something–or, if I do ask, it is to be ignored. The permission dynamic doesn’t flow that direction–when it has, she didn’t initiate anything.

    It’s not easy for her, still. It’s now explicit in our (ongoing, standing) negotiation that I don’t get to give her even that gentle, well-founded rejection. But she’s still cautious, deciding what she’s comfortable with. How much she wants to put me at risk. Nothing that will harm me, but some things will leave me wrecked for days if they hit at the wrong time. She’s also reached the IDGAF point about sending me to work meetings with a huge, purple hickey. And I’m good with that.

    But it’s an ongoing process that still often results in her not taking what she needs. It’s her choice, much like it’s yours in the situation you were in. Even with my absolution in advance. She’s started to cast a net for a masochistic play partner. It’s not an easy situation.

    This hasn’t (and, I trust, won’t) result in a breakdown between us. But it is tension, and it is self-denial for her. A lot more of our sex is vanilla now, because she doesn’t want to let her sadist loose. (Well, it just looks vanilla–there’s never any doubt who’s running the show.) But then she feels concerned about not giving me the loving bondage-sex I need.

    It’s a trap that we haven’t yet found our way out of. All I can do at this point is listen and support. The decisions are hers. But she’s uncomfortable with the options.

  2. “There was some anger here and there, but it was managed well-enough… because we still had more time.”

    Sincere apologies if this sounds brutal, but you still do have time. It just won’t be time with him.

    The worst is when there’s just no time, full stop. No time to make amends when things go wrong, no time to patch things up, no time for healing when you get dealt a losing hand because your past is much longer than your future. That’s when only stoicism will do, or maybe the myth of Sisyphus.

    Bu that’s not where you are, thank goodness. With best wishes for the long road that lies ahead.

    Be lucky.

  3. I hate hearing no, and I take it as an outright rejection of everything. So it’s comforting to read that there are others who avoid hearing a no, as well.

    However, I’m sorry that you didn’t ask for more. You certainly deserve a voice, and more if it’s available.

  4. At the risk of being too revealing, or sounding selfish and morose, I will tell you that I found this post to be a bit disquieting. Not because of you, your feelings, or the way you are expressing them here, (if anything, I find your capacity for self examination to be very refreshing!) but reading this post stirred up something that I have thought about a lot of late.

    I should have asked for more as well… From myself. I never put myself to the task of doing those hard things and making the sacrifices that could have shaken me out of my complacency. I substituted blind faith for logic, and dogma for enlightenment while spending far too long a time in ”blissful denial and sugar-coated idealism”.

    I too hate to hear the word “no” and when my basically unbelieving nature tried to intrude on the vaporware reality I was living, I doubled down and ignored the distress signals, counting them as weakness and mere distraction, and I remained content in the knowledge that I was on the right road.

    It was on the dark, unkempt highway that cuts across my mind, with my life (optimistically) two thirds complete, that I finally came to the realization that I was on the wrong road after all and even after changing course, the only thing I can do is now roll on through the night and wait for the sun to come up.

    I apologize for this being so way off topic, but I read your blog early this morning and this has been on my mind all day. I certainly didn’t intend to minimize the pain you are feeling, or invalidate you in any way, but this post had enough of an impact on me that I felt compelled to respond.

  5. I hope that the sun comes up soon for you too!

  6. so many of us don’t get what we need or want because we don’t like to hear the word NO. such a rejection in life no you can’t, no it won’t work, no don’t. all difficult in life to deal with just as controlling anger.
    Good job in keeping it under control.
    In a perfect world our mate will know what we need, desire, or want and just be there with it.
    tis not a perfect world so we must act and be rejected from time to time and find a shoulder to cry on and feel loved and wanted.
    You are strong and will have it all some day

  7. You are not alone in not wanting to hear no. It forces us into actions we might not be ready for, quite frankly. However, not asking also means we won’t get it.

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