Ok, before I get into this blog, I need to clarify that I did NOT ask him in those words...I asked him in a much kinder way, but I had to get your attention so you would read this blog because the message is important!
The bottom line is...I did ask him to leave me alone, and here’s why and how it went down!
I am someone who believes strongly in the power of a morning routine. It’s difficult to argue against the fact that your day just goes better when YOU decide how it is going to start and get yourself in the correct headspace!
Recently I have been trying to get back into some old, good habits. Those habits being exercising first thing, and then post workout (which is usually about 20-30 min), reading, gratitude journaling, and meditating for at least 10 minutes. I notice when I do these things I am less stressed throughout the day and feel generally happier and more productive. :-)
Scott and I tend to workout right about the same time in the morning which is great, because we help motivate each other to wake up even when we are tired! We both head upstairs to our apartment’s rooftop area, because that is where the gym is (where Scott likes to workout) and also where an awesome view of the sunrise is (an outside area where I like to workout.)
A handful of times over the last couple weeks, Scott has come to “visit” me in the outdoor area of the rooftop post workout. A couple times we chit-chatted, and a couple times we did not.
Now, as much as I love my husband and it can be nice to connect for a little bit in the calm morning before we started our work days, a couple times he started talking to me about “heavy” topics, before I was in the correct headspace to discuss those topics.
Most recently, we started talking about some negative things friends were posting on social media, and before we knew it by 7:45am we were in a bit of a heated debate about it.
There is nothing wrong with healthy debate, (or our pleasant morning conversations) but in that specific moment, after our mini-dispute was over, I knew in my gut it was time for me to ask for something selfish....something that I realized I truly need in order to start my day as my best self...
As kindly as I could, I asked my husband to “leave me alone” for my morning routine.
I know to some people this may sound very selfish. And to be honest I felt selfish asking my husband for this alone time. I almost felt ashamed. But the way I said it was this:
“I love you, and I love chatting with you. But I am someone who really benefits from an uninterrupted morning routine, where I can really set up my mindset in a positive way for the day. I am emotional, and sometimes when we have more emotionally “charged” conversations in the morning before I have “set” my mindset, those conversations impact me for hours afterward. And even when the conversations aren’t emotionally charged, I feel a little bummed when I don’t get to do all the positive activities I have planned. I hope this does not sound offensive, but is it ok with you if I do my meditation, journaling and reading by myself, without interruption?”
Luckily I married a very understanding man, and he completely understood this request was not personal or meant to be offensive...it was just something I needed to do for me; a positive way to start my day that was best done alone.
He said “Of course I love to spend time with you in the morning, but I understand why you need this. If I come to your area of the rooftop in the morning, I will make sure I just enjoy the rooftop quietly, and we can talk when you are done with your routine.”
Not to take away from my hubby's naturally awesomeness, but I am also pretty sure the fact that I used "I" statements to express what I needed made a big difference in his reaction to my request.
Sometimes we ALL need things or routines we can experience solo. Even in relationships, solitude and moments where we can just “be” (without needing to think of anyone else’s needs or wants) are incredibly important.
A few things I hope you take away from this blog:
1- Realize when your needs are not being met, and what needs to happen to make yourself feel better. Your partner may not know what you need, so it is up to you to identify it and ask for it!
2- Ask to have your needs met using “I” statements. Do not blame your partner for not meeting your needs or for “making you feel a certain way.” When explaining what you need say, “I feel “______” (negative way) when my “_______” needs are not met, and “______” (positive way) when my “______” needs are met.” Can you help me make sure “_____” happens so I can meet these needs?
3- Actually DO the thing that makes you feel better, and don’t feel guilty about needing to do it! Have the alone time! Read the book! Soak up the quiet time! Have the girl-friend date! Get the pedicure! Whatever the “thing” is, DO it, ENJOY it, and DON’T feel guilty about it!
What is something you really need that you may need to ask your partner to make some adjustments for? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to hear from you!