Taking Care of My Own Needs

If they don't like it, they can hit the road.
If they don’t like it, they can hit the road.

I read an interview today about Jennifer Lopez’s autobiography titled True Love, in which she talks about her failed relationships and marriages. Her disappointment came from giving too much of herself, giving into her partner’s wants and needs, instead of going for what she wanted and needed. I find myself falling into that situation time and time again.

This vicious cycle of giving instead of listening to my own needs probably stems from the way I grew up. I watched mothers around me give to men for years, even at times putting them before their children, because they feel their value somehow lies with making the man happy instead of themselves. Putting everyone first and neglecting my own needs was something I became conditioned to do, and it’s a really tough cycle to break if you’ve been doing it your entire life.

Looking back at past relationships, even if I didn’t want to have sex, I would do it anyway just to make the man happy. This type of behavior always causes resentment and misery, and it often results in the lack of sexual desire. Believe it or not, for a long time I didn’t want sex. In fact, I avoided it, because I viewed it as a boring chore rather than something pleasurable. It was because I kept giving into my partner’s needs and wants (not just sexually) rather than taking care of my own.

Even now, I find myself (and my friends remind me) that I give too much of myself too quickly, and I’m too trusting at first. I guess I just tend to like people more than they deserve. So after spending nearly a week without power from the storm, I have a different perspective of things… I’m putting me first, and anyone that can’t handle it can hit the road.