Say What You Want (Or You'll Never Get What You Need From Him)

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“Honey, I’m leaving work in a minute, I thought I’d pick up dinner on the way home,” Josh told his wife Eva. “What are you in the mood for?” 

“Oh, I don’t know, you pick,” Eva replied.

"I hope he remembers the Italian place," Eva thought. Her mouth began to water, as she changed out of her jeans and flannel shirt into something pretty.

When Josh walked in the door and set two brown paper bags on the kitchen counter, Eva’s excitement cooled considerably. She smelled soy sauce and fried rice, not melted cheese and oregano.

“Hi, hon. Are you hungry? I’m starving,” Josh said, as he reached up to the cabinet to grab a couple of plates.

“Hmm,” Eva mumbled.

Josh looked up at his wife. “You okay, baby?”

“Yup.” Their dinner conversation was halting and uninspired, and soon Josh gave up. The couple finished in silence.

As Eva got up to load the dishwasher, Josh asked her if there was something special she wanted to watch on TV.

“Whatever you want,” Eva said over her shoulder. They went to bed without speaking. Josh snored; Eva stewed.

It’s difficult for many women to ask for what they want. Most of us were never encouraged to do so. As a result, we suppress our needs and often succumb to the choices made by the people around us.

Unfortunately, when we don’t speak on our own behalf, it frustrates us as much as the people we live with.

Expecting our partner, kids, family and friends to read our mind is unfair. It sets them up for failure, just like Josh in the above example.

And though it might be unfamiliar and even uncomfortable at first, when we do speak our mind, we quickly learn most people are only too happy to oblige.

Let’s see what happens when Eva speaks her mind: 

“Honey, I’m leaving in a minute and I thought I’d pick up dinner on the way home,” Josh told his wife. “What are you in the mood for?”

“Let’s get pasta from the new place.” Eva said immediately.

“Pasta on the-Go-Go? Excellent idea, honey!” said Josh. “What would you like?”

“I'm in the mood for rigatoni in vodka sauce.”

“Great, baby, I’m on it. See you soon,” Josh replied.

Eva began humming as she changed from her jeans and flannel shirt into something pretty. When Josh walked in the door and set two brown paper bags on the counter, Eva put her arms around him from behind. “That food smells heavenly,” she said into his jacket.

Josh turned to her, laughing. “I guess you’re hungry.” he said as he reached into the cabinet to grab a couple of plates.

“I’m famished,” Eva said. “My mouth’s been watering ever since you called.”

Their dinner conversation was punctuated with oohs and aahs about the food.

“This is so delicious that it reminds me of our trip to Italy,” said Eva, “sitting at an outdoor café with a glass of wine and simple pasta.”

Josh leaned over and took Eva’s hand. “Are you hinting for a second honeymoon?” he asked, smiling.

Eva laughed. “Yes, but I thought I was being subtle ...” She stood up reluctantly. “I’ll load the dishwasher,” she said.

“Forget the dishes,” said Josh. That night they went to bed still talking about Italy, then fell asleep in each other’s arms.

When we don’t express our needs, we end up in a downward spiral of miscommunication. Our partner is left in the dark while we grow angrier and angrier. "How little he knows me," we might be thinking.

Instead of hinting and hoping, get clear and express your needs. Sure, there’s no guarantee that you’ll always get what you want, but you certainly increase your chances.

And you will improve communication and eliminate hidden agendas so your partner doesn’t have to guess how to fulfill your wishes. When you speak your mind, you can create an opportunity for that need to be met — for a gift to be given that can have ongoing positive ripples in your relationship and life.



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