My Needs

I went back to see Sam, my counsellor, today. I haven’t felt a need to see her since February but now and then over the last couple of months, I’ve felt as though I needed to talk to her, mainly about my relationship with Phil. My head has been feeling so full and so busy and stressed recently but now, after speaking to her, it feels as though my mind has had a good clear out and a bit of a wash and it feels as though I have space to think again.

We talked about Phil, the feelings that I have for who he is but the conflict that I have about not being attracted to him. We talked about Tom and his presence in my life and then we talked about my needs. I’d forgotten all about my own needs until Sam mentioned them and because I forgot, it’s meant they haven’t been being taken care of which probably explains why I’ve been feeling a bit shit again lately. For example, my need for quite a while has been to have a weekend to myself, to do my own thing, to sleep, read or just rest, but every Saturday that I have no kids, I ignore all of those needs and I rush around getting ready to see Phil. I shower, shave my legs, try and find nice underwear, do my hair, get ready, rush out the house, get to his then do whatever he decides for the night. We either stay in and watch a film, eat out or go to the cinema. I never express my needs, because that is my habit, instead, I go along with his, including his need to have sex even though I don’t actually want to most of the time.

Once I’d realised this, I realised I don’t really have a need for Phil in my life at all. My needs, at this point in my life, are with my children. More than anything else, I love to spend time with them. I literally feel myself lighting up when I’m with them. They currently seem to fulfil almost all of the needs I have and what they don’t, Tom seems to fulfil. While the kids give me the space to be young and fun and silly, Tom gives me support and company and fully supports my need for my children to have a father figure in their lives. I know I can rely on him to be there when I need him, to help out with things if I’m struggling and really he’s become my rock, my safety net. The only need that Tom and the kids aren’t able to ever fulfil, is any sexual needs I may have but then Phil doesn’t fulfil them either because even though I have sex with him, it lacks something because of the lack of physical attraction I have for him, like the one I had for Tom.

This isn’t to say I want to have a sexual relationship with Tom, I don’t think I do, but he is kind of my benchmark. If I have sex with someone, I want it to be as fulfilling on every level as it was with Tom and there’s currently no one in my life to step into that role. My relationship with Phil totally lacks the physical bond I desire in a relationship. Not being physically attracted to him is something I’m coming to realise and accept that I need to have with a man. I need to fancy him physically as well as love him deeply for who he is.

So where does this leave things with Phil because my history with men is that I let relationships go on far longer than they should, even if I’m aware that they’re not working? Clearly I need to end the relationship with Phil and yet just typing that I can feel the fear building in my stomach, travelling up to my throat. I feel cold and shaky but the alternative, if I don’t end the relationship, is to continue with what has been happening for the last seven months. I go to his flat, even though I don’t always want to. I have sex with him, even though I don’t always want to. I have sex that more times than not hurts me because he’s not at all gentle and has on more than one occasion actually left me with bruises or unable to sleep without waking in pain because of his weight on me. I end up staying up till at least 2am with him, whereas I like to be asleep by about 10.30pm and then he wakes me several times throughout the night to kiss me or tell me he loves me, and I rarely get to sleep in, in the mornings because he wakes me wanting sex. We then spend the whole day in bed doing nothing, wasting the day because, I don’t know why and to top it off, he spends too much time checking his Facebook, or eBay or YouTube. He is rarely present in the moment or present with me. It’s always something on the internet or talking about the future, it’s never about now, right now and my need, I’ve realised, is to be present, to be in the moment to enjoy and not leap on to what’s coming next or when we’re married or when we move in together, none of which I even want. I want my kids and I want Tom in our lives the same amount he is now, and I don’t want anything more than that right at this moment in time. I need to start thinking about my needs and start honouring them.

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