Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Taking one for the team

PF pontificates:

How many of us can honestly say that we've never done it? Never done something that we know isn't right for us to try and make a partner happy? We swear up and down that we won't ever do that again. Our partners tell us that they don't want us to, and still the temptation is there to give someone else what they want, even if it's going to be a negative, or at best, neutral experience for us.

Why is that? Is the training to please others so deeply ingrained that we instinctively martyr ourselves? When the situation is turned around, and you can see someone else following in your past footsteps, it's so much easier to see why taking that course of action isn't likely to be a positive experience.

Back in the day, way back when we used to do more swing types of activities, the temptation to "take one for the team" was always present. I'm not sure if it was a more prevalent attractions for PG or myself, since he's more picky physically, and I, by virtue of gender, had more options. We both wanted to give each other what we _thought_ the other wanted. How many times did we decompress after making that call only to find out that the other person really wanted us to say no unless we could give a resounding "yes!" to the question at hand?

This concept can translate out into so many other things, like taking the kids for the night, when you really want to be going out instead, or taking on some extra responsibility that you feel really shouldn't be on your to-do list. So how do we break this habit? Time? Experience? Listening to our partners? Sheer repetition?

How about listening to ourselves? There was an article I read earlier today about people choosing a course of action depending on if it felt "warm" or "cold" to them. Your underlying gut response will show you which is closest to supporting you. This has a lot of appeal to me, but at the same time, there are a great many decisions that are outside the comfort zone, and therefore aren't likely to feel so warm, perhaps also learning to discern the icy thrill of anticipation as opposed to something that leaves you cold, would be a good thing also.

Here's what I know now: I don't want my partners doing things that make them uncomfortable, or humor me at their own expense. If something I am asking doesn't feel right, say no. Give me another alternative. Tell me it's something I should find someone else to enjoy it with. Help me see your point of view, because sometimes I am just that single-minded. Fortunately, I am pretty amenable to finding another course of action. Why? Because I want my partners to be happy too. I love 'em. I want to give them what they want. Hang on, isn't that where we came in on this topic??? ;)

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