Many of us don’t like asking others for help. It is a pride buster to admit to someone that you don’t have it all together, all the time. There are things with which I need help that aggravate me. I would like to be able to lift heavy things by myself. I would like to be able to figure out computer problems without pulling my hair out and making the problem worse. But, alas, I am not perfect, and I am often in need of help from others.
A few years ago, I loved the TV show Wife Swap. For a while, I watched it faithfully until I became bored with it. While visiting my parents recently, I happened to catch an episode and I watched it for old time’s sake. A wild, carefree woman switched places with a hard working housewife whose husband ate, slept, and breathed his trucking company. When the wild woman showed up to take this hardworking woman’s place, she found that their kitchen was only half completed and had been that way for over seven years. In addition, she was expected to entertain his friends and do tons of odd jobs for him without so much as a simple thank you.
Her day began before 5:00 am, because that’s when he started cranking up his loud truck(s). He refused to do any housework, citing that as her job; but, he expected her to do anything he ordered her to do for the business on top of home duties. Sadly, even their children felt that their mom was treated fairly and that she had no reason to complain. When his swapped wife asked him how he could treat his wife with so little respect, he said, “Maybe she should divorce me.”
Some days I forget that there really are men like that in the world and some much worse than the man in the above example. Eric and I don’t see eye to eye on everything and on some days, it seems like we don’t see eye to eye on anything; yet, he has always been available to help me.
I still don’t like having to ask for help, but his willingness to patiently teach me has given me the comfort I need to ask him for assistance. If he made fun of me for not knowing something, or treated me like I was stupid when I had a hard time grasping a concept, I would never feel comfortable asking him for his help.
Thinking back to former relationships, there are some ex-boyfriends who took pleasure in making me look like an idiot when I did not know how to do something that was easy for them. In fact, laughing at me and putting me down in front of mutual friends seemed to be a favorite pastime for one specific individual. Looking back, I struggle to understand why I put up with such lousy treatment. Anyone who takes pleasure in making you look and feel like a fool is not the one for you – period.
How does your boyfriend or girlfriend act when you ask him or her for help? Ask yourself these important questions:
- Do they act annoyed or give you an attitude for not being able to do it yourself?
- Do they laugh and treat you like a fool because you don’t know how to do something that seems easy to them?
- Do they scoff at you, or seem to resent you, for not having all the answers?
- Does his or her general treatment of me, when I’m on top of the world, or when I am not, build me up or tear me down?
- Do I want to live with this treatment for the rest of my life?
If the trend in your relationship is a tearing down of your spirit, it’s time to consider a different path. If you are dating someone who treats you poorly, you owe him or her nothing. You are not required to stay connected to him or her. If you are dating someone who is patient, loving, respectful, and someone who enjoys helping you, then do not take him or her for granted. Whether you marry that person or not, be thankful for those who build you up and never settle for marrying someone who does not.
How does your boyfriend/girlfriend react when you ask for him/her for help?