I am, and always have been, very self sufficient in life. I rarely need anything from anyone and because of that try and do most things in life without help. In my work setting, I don’t ask for help so much as deligate down the chain to get things done, and even that is somewhat difficult for me (and other peers I work with) as it requires trust and letting go of some control to do this. While I’m not a control freak, in most things, I feel I can do things better than most or at least it’s easier for me to take care of it than to ask for assistance or to go through the time to explain how to do it.
In our household I’m the same way. I tend to take on a lot of responsibility on a day to day basis and while I get on the kids to have a basic foundation of manners and cleaning up after themselves, they’re still not self-reliant. Because of that, I tend to take on most of the dishes, laundry and general picking up around the house stuff since my threshold for this is much less than Holly’s. While I certainly could be asking her, or the kids, for more help I usually don’t. For me, I feel asking for help is a sign of weakness. While I don’t necessarily feel this is a bad point, I recognize that thinking this way is probably limiting the potential for Holly to have “Acts of Service” toward me and get the satisfaction of doing something nice for me and perhaps limiting to a small degree our connection to each other. It’s like gift giving: being the recipient of the gift is really cool, but I’d argue the giver of the gift feels even better and has an inner glow for making someone else feel good.
Similar to this, I’m not big on showing weakness. I find those who complain or make excuses weak and therefore my respect for those individuals is reduced. Especially after swallowing the Red Pill, I’ve been even more cognisant of this in my marriage, and as the Captain don’t whine, complain or make excuses as I want my kids and Holly to look up to me as a leader, and leaders act a certain way. This can sometimes be difficult for me as I’m a pretty straight shooter, where my emotional heart on my sleeve and tend to cry during emotional times. I’ve tried to control my emotions a little better, since as a man I do tend to equate crying with weakness, but it’s still a process. It’s not like I’m crying watching a Hallmark card commercial with dancing cats or anything, just when saying goodbye to long-time friends, or having a very emotionally intense fight or disagreement or something with Holly that tends to pick away at scabs and leaves my emotional state pretty raw.
So basically I tend to keep a lot of stuff inside as an island. I show little weakness, ask for little help, and because of this, I sometimes feel like my shields are up more than they should be and I’m limiting letting those closest to me into how I really feel or think. I think it is a balancing act, since a wife should lean on their husband as the Rock of the family and a Rock shouldn’t be weak. But as King of the house, you can let the Queen inside a little more while still not appearing weak about it. It takes a lot of trust and a strong foundation for this. Additionally, asking for help promotes closeness as the Queen now feels that warm-fuzzy for helping serving the King and feel needed because of this.
What’s bringing all this to the surface is that I suffered a hopefully short-term injury that’s been somewhat debilitating to me. I can barely put on my shoes, am in a lot of pain, and am basically incapable of doing a whole lot. While I don’t complain about it, I’ve needed to ask for help and obviously am showing some weakness in my physical capacity. It’s really hard and humbling to me to be like this since it’s the opposite of my “lift heavy shit” and strong body and mind that I normally am. Holly has been really understanding, but I’d sure have a hard time mentally physically disabled for very long, and would feel for sure that she would see me as weak and lose attraction for me. It’s hard to feel like an Alpha Captain type when you’re laid up on vicodin, and can barely get socks on and need help to do basic things. However, there is the act of service and nursing a strong man back to health thing that can occur and in some ways increases attraction. I’m not sure this applies to my wife, but many women like to play this role and I had an Aunt who had several marriages where she was the “caretaker” type role with men who had health issues. Since Holly is an alpha-type woman, I need to be strong and hope to get there as soon as possible.
As our vows said, “in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer..” My wife and I have been through a lot together, and this statement definitely applies. Personally, I take satisfaction and feel good taking care of Holly when she’s less than 100%, and while I’m sure that she would feel the same way, I still struggle with letting her do that for me. It’s a character flaw that I need to work on, and trust her and our relationship that we’ll still be solid in spite of showing weakness.