Recently Master was needing to take a trip out of town. He told me he didn't think I would be coming because my sciatica is acting up so badly that he didn't want to cause me further pain - he hadn't made up his mind yet but was leaning toward me not coming.
Master has been under a tremendous amount of stress and when I travel with him - it helps his stress levels go down. I am able to be there riding with him so his mind doesn't get stuck on work and other worries - and we can talk about all sorts of things and get him to relax a little. I am there to set out clothes and make sure all his stuff is order when leaving for meetings. I am there for fun stuff such as sex too which also helps him relax. I have been going through depression due to chronic pain, so besides wanting to be there for him I didn't want to be alone. It just didn't sound all that good to me. So I really wanted to go with him.
I have been with Master for 9 1/2 years so I know what he wants and how he likes things. I know how to best approach him when needing to ask for something, suggest something or propose different ideas then he has planned. It can be a pair of shoes I want or that I feel I see a better way to handle something - all sorts of things I know how to approach him when sharing information.
On the way out of town with Master, yes I got to go, I said I know him and know how to approach him with things - so is that manipulation? Or is it just serving him in the way I know he likes best? I know not to push certain buttons as he has taught me what those buttons are and how to come at certain subjects because of those buttons. He has taught me his preferences in multitude of areas so I now know how to navigate now without even really thinking about it.
Example....Menus for dinner. He really doesn't want me to come to him with a menu. He wants a list of things I can make and he can choose. When I make the grocery list, I say these are things I am thinking of making sometime this month, do you have something you are craving or want added or changed. Now he is fine that some of those things don't get made and others do - he likes choices so having a wide range of choices for the month is more important to him then having a locked in menu. So I might say in the morning or tonight, we have chicken and hamburger available in the freezer, does one sound better to you then the other. Or I might say we have more chicken right now in the freezer, these are the things I can make with it. I know him enough to know if I offer up a hamburger or chicken choice his first question is what do we have more of so if I know we have more of chicken I just cut straight to the chicken and then offer him a list of choices. Is it manipulating him into chicken? Or is knowing what his first question will be to me so just cut to that answer?
For me is knowing him. If I wanted chicken, I just offered chicken when there was more hamburger then I feel I would be manipulating him into chicken because I wanted it. But I can't do that - really it makes me feel all sorts of terrible to even think about it because damn right I have thought about it before. Because sometimes you know *I* want something and not offering him certain choices would be nice and just making what *I* want, but that isn't how this relationship works and it makes me feel guilty when I even think about things like that.
So when it came time for him to start deciding if I was going to go on the trip, I knew how to approach it. I know Master enough to know he wants me with him so ultimately he would most likely move to that direction, but I still needed to not push, I needed to phrases things in a way that I know don't push buttons and I knew I needed to then sit back and let him make up his mind. I did that and I went with him.
It has taken a lot of years for me to navigate that - I have gotten caught in the trap of telling him what he should do - when actually he doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to. Starting a sentence like that is pretty much a death sentence to I was asking for. Being straight and truthful with my feelings and why I want to go is the better approach. Showing I am able to go through my actions is also a good approach.
As I said above I am going through a depression and when I can't move things fall behind. Well it got to a point where I had it. The house was driving me crazy so I was doing bursts of cleaning and then having to be in bed for the rest of the day. But those bursts of cleaning helped Master make up his mind because he saw I was able to move more then I had in the past weeks. He understood I was paying for it, but he still felt movement helped in the case to go.
I also told him as I said above - straight and truthful my feelings - "I want to go because my depression is eating me up and I don't want to be alone. I also don't want you to be alone as you have been under a great deal of stress. Dealing with my pain at the end of riding in the car is worth it to me to put up with - to be with you. Plus I will have a day of rest between and that will help me better deal with it."
I didn't nag on it. I just said it and let it drop. I did the things I needed to around the house and then let him make up his mind. In the end, he decided I could go. Manipulation? Well he doesn't think so that is all that matters. I am just thankful that I have learned how to approach him so that he did consider it. I am glad to have that time with him. We always have a nice time on road trips.