He has many interests which are great when it’s me who is the center of his attention. But he has, strangely enough, also other things in life than me. Work colleagues, kids, taekwondo, spearfishing, harpoons, old things and all the things he collects.
He only does one thing at the time, which makes his concentration and focus on his project intense with a perfect result rich in delicious details. I can easily juggle several things at once without any problems. I am not very detail-oriented and can easily move my focus to and from my projects. An important difference between him and I.
I get seduced both through my ears and my nose. I want to hear his loving words, compliments and lovely thoughts about me. I want to hear how beautiful and wonderful he thinks I am. So I feel noticed and appreciated. I’m pretty sure that I share this desire with many other women – we like to be noticed, and listen to, so we feel loved, and love fills our hearts.
But when we in our partnership in a fusion family are not seen or noticed – yes, we will have problems. My husband is often engrossed in a project, and when I want to talk to him about something I consider far more important than what he is doing, I talk for a long time and think he listens, but discover that he was just looked at me without listening. His attention was given elsewhere. This scenario has made me angry a lot of times.
I did not understand why he could not just move his focus onto me. I was more important than a flipping harpoon. I was sad. Felt overlooked, taken for granted and non-important, because I was dependent on his attention, to feel loved.
It created a lot of drama and trouble in our marriage. I’m not the silent type, I was hurt and upset, and I let him know that. In between I also tried to manipulate him to give me what I missed, which only made him retreat even further away from me. So there I stood, with all my talents and all my threats.
The change came when I realized that I was believing in a lie. The lie was: No attention = No love. I equated his amount of attention to his feelings for me. One day I had the courage to ask in a non-dramatic way if his declining attention had something to do with me. The reply was prompt: “No, not at all!”
His focus was just somewhere else. His feelings for me unchanged, and he still felt that I was the hottest person ever.
When I really understood it seriously, I could let go of my dependency on his attention, when I needed it. So I concentrated on my own projects and my own life. It eliminated a lot of drama and problems in our relationship, and love had room to grow. We are now equal. I greatly appreciate his attention, but I am no longer dependent on it.
I have also learned that when I feel the old need for getting his attention, it’s time to give it to myself. So I praise myself and speak lovingly to myself and give myself attention. It removes the lack of energy and it also means that I actually get more attention from him, without pressure and expectation it all flow freely. That’s really the meaning of love.
I hope you feel inspired by my blog post to “test-drive” my version of self-fulfilling instead of expecting your partner to do it. You will like the results.