About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

I Never Say I Need Him

Countdown – less than three months until Jake and I get hitched! The invitations are in production now and should be here in two weeks. This is really happening! But, this isn’t about that. It’s actually just a quick something that Jake said to me the other day that I wanted to get your take on.

Jake said that while he tells me sometimes (not frequently, but not infrequently either) how important it is that I support his decisions. Whenever he is stressed about something, he sanctified always asks if he has my support. Sometimes this is emotional, like when he was scared to leave his job to start his own company. Sometimes it is financial – now that he doesn’t make a salary, sometimes he can’t predict his income and isn’t sure he’ll get paid by a client in time to pay one of our bills. Whatever he asks for, I always give it, of course!

But…he says that I never really tell him that I need his support.

Which I don’t think is strictly true – I ask his advice about things all the time, or tell him that I need a hug after a rough day. When I moved to his city to live with him and had no job, I was a complete basket case and needed both financial and emotional support for about three months until I started working. But then, that was four years ago.

Lately, he’s right. I don’t really come to him for support very often (maybe a tenth as often as he comes to me). I have a job that I do well, where everyone loves me, and for that I receive a predictable paycheck and fantastic benefits. The woman who had my job before me had it over 30 years, so it’s a stable job as well. I have a budget that enables me to pay all my bills (though it’s a stretch sometime). Meanwhile, he is winding down his involvement with the startup that he left his job for and starting another (one of the partners in the first startup was too difficult to work with, but it was her company originally so it’s complicated). He is owed thousands of dollars in backpay that his clients either haven’t gotten around to giving him or are trying to get him to write off.

In short, he has taken a lot of risks in the past year, and I have been holding steady. Which was the agreement – that we both shouldn’t change our whole lives up at once, and that if there was something adventurous I wanted to do/change about my life, I could do so once he was steady-as-she-goes with his new business. But does this dynamic affect his perception of himself as a man and provider?

On the one hand, I feel kind of like it’s important for a woman to make her man feel needed. On the other hand, he is so busy/stressed with his new company that I would feel bad putting an emotional burden on him when it’s not even necessary. I honestly don’t have any stress in my life right now, and he has TONS of it. In fact, it’s so unequal that I feel guilty, like I can’t even mention how stable and happy everything is on my end. Plus, every time I have asked him recently to help me with something (usually a wedding-related task, these days), it ends up taking five times longer and being half as good than it would have if I’d just done it myself.

What’s a girl to do? Insight into the male psyche appreciated!

  • http://demetershouse.wordpress.com Demi

    I’d venture to say that it is not just that you are in a stable place where you don’t need his support, but that you are a strong, capable, intelligent woman who is used to taking care of herself. That’s a wonderful thing but is sometimes hard for men, especially when they are experiencing periods when they need their partner’s support. Maybe just letting him know that you feel safe with him because you know he’d let you lean on him if you ever needed to would be enough for now.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    Guys don’t want stressed out girlfriends or women that need high levels of emotional support. We do want women to make us feel like men and we crave the girlfriend experience. We do want to feel needed. The most effective thing you could do is embue him with confidence and make him feel like “the man.” If he gets enough of that, it actually negates the stress of professional life.

  • Honey

    Yes, but how do I do that if I’m not facing any issues where I need his advice? Just compliment how he is handling himself with regards to his business?

  • Honey

    Thanks, Demi! We need to go out for drinks 😉

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    Exactly. You don’t need any issues at all. Just act extra girlfriendy. Compliment his strength and masculinity, imply respect or admiration for his risk taking, do some cuddling and PDA, etc. Think basic high school girly-girl stuff acting affectionate for the big strong football player, that type of thing. You can do this explicitly or implicitly, whatever works best.

  • Honey

    I already do all that stuff, so I guess there’s nothing I can really change…

  • Glen

    I get where you’re coming from, but you have it ALL wrong. If your man said he didn’t need you in any type of way, it wouldn’t feel good.

    You don’t need him to survive or be a woman. We get that, but saying you need someone is like saying you need a hug: you won’t DIE if you don’t get one , bur at the same time it conveys you require something on another level.

    Leave the pride at home. Please.

  • Honey

    @ Glen, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I am physically affectionate, compliment him all the time, tell him I am grateful he is in my life. I only tell him he is wrong 20% of the times that I think it, and I NEVER bring it up when it turns out he was wrong and I was right about something. I admit that I was “wrong” even when I don’t think I was, just to keep the peace. There’s no pride here…

  • Nicole

    In a relationship its always give and take. It makes the relationship grow stronger. Learn to accept that you really need each other. Physically and emotionally. Thats how relationship works out.

  • https://www.yourspecialsomeone.com Billy Barnes

    I can tell you that even though a guy may be tough to the outside world we are very insecure with our loved ones.
    I fall apart if I don’t think my wife needs me:)

  • http://vimaxpatcreview.com/ David S. Romero

    Learn to accept that you really need each other. You cannot live alone. Thats how relationship works out.

  • http://vimaxpathreview.com/ David S. Romero

    When it comes in relationship, its always give and take.Thats how relationship works out.You can give without love ,But you cannot love without giving.

  • http://commentavoirlesdentblanches.fr Laura

    Relation built up more stringer if both parties are telling each other what they feel.. I do agree that sharing is very important in such relationship…

  • http://goo.gl/rYnhO Grace Sevilly@beach chairs

    I agree that sometimes we, women should let our feel that we need them, this is one way of letting them know that they’re a big part of us. Maintaining an open and honest relationship is also very important for you to stay together.

  • Phil

    Sort of old, but just ran across this. Have you thought about maybe taking up a new interest or hobby which would be outside your comfort zone/area of expertise but something which he knows a lot about? Perhaps doing something new together which you think he would be good at and you wouldn’t be (or can fake not being good at).

    Could serve two purposes of being a stress reliever by getting away together as well as something where he feels like the alpha male that he needs to be.

  • http://motherofthebridedressespwwlussize.net/ marti

    love is a complicated thing and being in a relationship means you should be ready for the challenges.

  • http://www.myrelationshipsupermarket.com Anne @ relationships blog

    There’s always one area in your life in which you need help. I’m good at a lot of things, but am crappy at finding my way around. I can’t read a map and get lost very easily.

    Like you, I’m not needy. I had a terrible childhood, and a tough life and have learned to get through things. I prefer to work at things rather than ask my husband for help.

    However, the direction thing I mentioned… I always turn to him to help me with this – even when I don’t need that much help. I work in TV and have to travel to a different country to work (mostly) twice a week. My husband knows he’s my compass. Like your guy, he needs me emotionally more than I do him. We both know this, so I give him this to do for me. Makes sense.

  • Anne @ Relationship Blog

    Having been married for 15 years, I’ve learned that men don’t really judge situations well without being told with words. My husband has a PhD and a genuis IQ. However, when I need something done or said I have to tell him.

    The point I’m making is that men still want to be needed. They still want to feel like the protector (even in our modern world). They feel bad if their women don’t seem to need them.

    I need my husband, but if a long time has passed by without me saying something to indicate that, he starts feeling a bit redundant and says the same kinds of things.

    Your boyfriend has stress, but knowing that you need him will make him stronger to forge ahead and work harder to get what he wants. He may be feeling a bit redundant and this can knock his confidence.

    Don’t worry about stressing him, let him know you need him.

    (BTW, there isn’t a panel for me to leave my blog’s address so you can visit me. This is the first blog I’ve seen like this.

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  • Keka

    Yes these what men suppose to do. They have their own feeling about this and wish they know it.


  • Ranvir

    …says that I never really tell him that I need his support.

    I guess that’s what happens out there with 90% of women!

  • Claire

    My exact same problem. I am always projecting independence and trying not to be needy but some men actually like you to show your vulnerability.

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