Why Can’t I Just Ask for Help?

Photo credit: Brenda Gottsabend (Flickr) This might sound totally crazy, but one of the things I am really struggling with when it comes to this relationship stuff is asking Mr. T for help. It has nothing to do with him at all. It’s just my own personal thing that I can’t seem to shake. And it’s ridiculous.

Like today. I did something crazy to my hand and over the past few days it’s been difficult for me to really move it or grip anything at all. I decided last week that I wanted to make a dinner for us this week. We bought a new table and I knew that we would have things mostly settled so I really wanted to take a night to have an official first dinner at our place.

My plan was to make pasta with homemade sauce (it’s my thing). I made the sauce yesterday and then today I planned to add the meat and cook it all together. I told him a couple of times that I’d probably need his help and he continually said that was find and to just let him know. But, when I actually went to put all the stuff together, I didn’t say a word and just started doing it myself. Rather than asking him for help, I struggled to get the crockpot out of the fridge and grunted a few times in pain. And I’ve done that many times today (and he’s told me to stop it several times today).

Ridiculous.

But it’s not just today. It happens pretty frequently. It’s actually partially how I injured myself in the first place – my hand hurt on Saturday, but I proceeded to hang 18 shelves without saying a word. I just have this thing where I can’t ask for help. If Mr. T comes and asks me if I would like help with something, I let him. Well, I let him sometimes. Even then I have a hard time just saying yes and letting him do his thing. He usually has to practically push me out of the way (nicely, of course).

And I also feel guilty when he does stuff. Last night he told me to go to bed and he would finish up the dishes and clean up the kitchen from dinner. I continually told him I was sorry for sucking at life and asked if he was sure it was OK that I went to bed.

I think it’s partially because I am just used to fending for myself. When you’re single for over 30 years and have lived on your own for most of the past decade you just naturally do stuff when it needs to be done. But I also think it’s (mostly) pride and that whole thing about how girls can do anything boys can do only better. Sometimes I feel like the word help means weakness.

The thing is, I am in a relationship. It’s a partnership. We do things together. We help each other. It has nothing to do with girls or boys or anyone doing anything better. Mr. T is well aware that I’m independent. He’s well aware that I can fend for myself. Actually, it’s highly unlikely that he would marry me if I was some helpless gal who couldn’t handle her own shit. He just loves me and wants to help me do things. And that’s just normal relationship stuff.

It’s OK to ask for help and sometimes I kind of enjoy the fact that I don’t have to do everything myself (there, I actually said it). I know I can do everything, but that doesn’t mean I have to.

So now I will go ask him to help me with dinner instead of fumbling through the kitchen one handed.