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-   -   in/dependence and the word "need" (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1537)

greenearthal 11-29-2009 10:24 AM

in/dependence and the word "need"
 
I was at a show a while back and a young woman was singing. She was a very evocative singer, and I was trying to get into it and enjoy it all, but one of the songs she sang really pushed my buttons and it's been on my mind in the weeks since.

The basic chorus included something along the lines of 'when I wound you why don't you weep?' and 'when I cut you why don't you bleed?' and the like. And the feel and pacing of the song gave me the impression that it was a song about being in love with an insensate man and her frustration about having a greater emotional investment in their relationship. But every time she sang the chorus I would get rage flashes and mutter bitterly "Why don't YOU stop wounding me?" and "Why don't YOU stop cutting me?"

I felt like I was transported back to a place that was very familiar to me. Familiar in a bad way. Like a place I have been traveling away from to the best of my ability only to find myself back there. Fortunately it was just a song and it eventually ended.

But I have this recurring pattern in my relationships. Being accused of being an insensate man. Having partners deliberately wound or cut to me test my woundability. And the phrase "you don't NEED me," is a phrase I could happily see banished from all of language.

I don't feel like I need any particular human individual. As an infant and an adolescent I needed my mother. And she raised me very, very well (if I do say so on her behalf) and as time goes by I become more and more of an independent person. I am a very self-satisfied person. I can get by with very, very little validation as compared to the individuals I witness around me.

I find myself attracted to similarly independent women. But they have not been very easy to find. (I sometimes think I'd have an easier time hunting unicorns). In this mad world of ours there are a lot of wounded people and individuals with arrested development.

I sometimes envy codependant relationships that I see in various forms or fashion. People who have a gaping need for something they were deprived of in their youth and have one or more persons that they pull in to fill that gap. Or relationships with complementary needs where individuals will complementary needs and attributes. Mostly my envy is based on how they don't have to think about this particular issue, and I get to think of little else.

Generally when I am in a relationship, if there is anything that a love of mine absolutely depends on me for, then I will reflexively spend as much energy as I can muster trying to get them to a position where they no longer depend on me. Anything I can think of to get them financially stable, emotionally buttressed, networked... I actually reflexively do that for all people, not just people I'm involved with.

I witness people who act in the opposite way: try to make people more and more dependent on them. And upon witnessing it, my mind's marquee usually scrolls the word "evil". I guess it goes directly to what my mother modeled for me about right and wrong. Helping other people become stronger, more self-reliant humans is what I've come to associate as good and proper. And so I do this expecting to be rewarded in some form or fashion. But, generally, what little reward comes of it is entirely overwhelmed by my relationships fracturing into peices and some form or another of the "you don't need me."

To which I want to reply "EXACTLY! We can mutually not need each other and live happily ever after. Yes?"

For some reason I have no need to feel needed. People have characterized that as one of my flaws on more than one occasion. I can't let go of this romantic notion that I have in my head of finding loves who don't need me for much of anything but still choose to spend their days growing older with me. The notion's really got a grip on my noggin.

Sweetheart 11-29-2009 10:28 AM

Right on.

rolypoly 11-29-2009 07:01 PM

Great topic. I always appreciate what you write greenearthal.

What you say reminds me a little of an ex, who believed himself to be insensate. His came from an abusive childhood, however. I don't think he'd even be able to recognize his emotions if he had any.

I'd like to explore the word "need" more. Is it possible for them to have needs that you meet, so they attach them with you?

What needs of yours are being met by being in relationships in the first place?

redsirenn 11-29-2009 11:14 PM

HA! this is a funny topic for me.
I react very negatively to the codependency that I see around me... It makes me cringe. I think not needing someone and wanting them is sooooo much more powerful! It exhibits an active CHOICE in maintaining the relationship and is sooo very romantic!

I am a very independent woman, and most of my past relationships have suffered because the man realizes after a while that I do not NEED them. My mother raised me to be this way, and it stuck, thanks to her!

I never fear having to find a man to support me in the future. I know I will be successful, strong, financially independent and able to care for myself. Many men feel threatened by this and would rather have what feels to me like a woman on a leash - at their beck and call.

It is hard to find men that appreciate this in me, but even those who do find it frustrating at times... As every day passes, I realize how there is balance to EVERYTHING in life, including exerting my own independence :)

greenearthal 11-29-2009 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rolypoly (Post 13684)
I'd like to explore the word "need" more. Is it possible for them to have needs that you meet, so they attach them with you?

What needs of yours are being met by being in relationships in the first place?

I have no idea where desire ends and need begins. I would say the closest thing I have to a need is my very strong desire to procreate and parent. No matter how self-reliant and well-adjusted you are that's something that a human male can't readily do alone.

Beyond that, I really enjoy forming and deepening relationships. I feel like I get sufficient companionship just from friends and community, but obviously romantic relationships can be even more rewarding and rewarding on a deeper level. Ergo, I pursue romantic relationships.

greenearthal 11-29-2009 11:57 PM

redsiren -=- right on!

Ceoli 11-30-2009 12:19 AM

I think many people base their own value within themselves based upon how much their partner needs them. Also for some people, there's comfort in being needed by their partner. "If my partner needs me, then they are less likely to leave me" For people that feel security in that way, it would make total sense to constantly test those needs because that is the only way they can be sure of the future of the relationship.

However, a partner staying with me because the need me seems like a bum deal to me. I would prefer that my partner stay with me because they *want* to stay with me. If they needed to stay, it would infect all the feelings between us and it would no longer be about love, but about security. And as soon as my security is wrapped up in how someone else feels about me, well...that's a whole lotta ugly I don't ever care to experience again.

rolypoly 11-30-2009 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redsirenn
I think not needing someone and wanting them is sooooo much more powerful!

...and sexy!!!

I'm surprised you have trouble finding men that appreciate an independent woman.

The men that I know that do are so much more interesting!


Quote:

Originally Posted by greenearthal
I would say the closest thing I have to a need is my very strong desire to procreate and parent.

I can relate!

redsirenn 11-30-2009 04:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rolypoly (Post 13781)
...and sexy!!!

I'm surprised you have trouble finding men that appreciate an independent woman.

The men that I know that do are so much more interesting!

Thank you, I agree. and I do have trouble, but Ouroboros is one of them. He constantly surprises me, and in turn his independence and sharing of who he really is is Incredibly HOT!

redsirenn 12-11-2009 07:14 AM

Another "needs" question:

I hear so often poly people talking about how one person can't fulfill all thier needs - thus one argument (for lack of a better word) for practicing poly.

I always think: "DUH!" Then why don't you go out there and fulfill them yourself instead of "needing" someone else to do it for you?

Any thoughts?

Fire away....


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