Sometimes, it’s the most simple of sentiments that can be the most difficult to express. And for those of us who are parents, often consumed by our “roles” and all that we have to accomplish in a day, it can be easy to forget to say those things that we often feel but don’t always say to our partners.
Nikki Pennington, a mom of three, recently wrote a powerful post about a busy morning when she took a moment to let her husband know one thing: “I need you today.”
“For awhile now, I’ve simply assumed my husband knows how much I need him,” Pennington reveals to Babble.
As someone who has been married for almost 14 years, I can relate. I am confident that my husband knows how much I love him, but do I express my appreciation for him as much as I should? Do I tell him that he is needed in my life? Probably not nearly as often as he deserves.
In her post, Pennington describes her husband’s reaction to her simple words. “He could hear in my tone that there was something different about the way I said it so he stopped dead in his tracks,” she wrote.
Women are powerful, and we often pride ourselves on our ability to handle anything that comes our way. It can be difficult to allow someone else to take some of the load off, but it’s also rewarding. There is power in being able to admit, “I can do it on my own, but I wouldn’t want to.”
Pennington puts it perfectly when describing her feelings about her husband:
“He was needed for the comfort that only he could give when the weight of the world felt like it was on my shoulders. He was the one I needed to walk through that door just as I was feeling like I was about to break and be the one to help put me back together again.”
I have felt this way so often it hurts. I have called my husband in tears — after locking myself in our bedroom — just to tell him that I need back-up, and that I need him to come home.
It’s not just during the difficult times that we need our partners, either. As Pennington puts it, “He was the one I needed to pick up the phone on the other end so I could tell him about things that matter and things that don’t from my day.”
Sometimes, I think that texting my husband throughout the day is the one thing that is keeping my sanity intact. Just being able to commiserate with him over whatever our toddler just destroyed or share an inside joke can help to lift my mood.
Pennington tells Babble that her efforts to express her need for her husband more has had a positive effect on their relationship, but that she was hesitant to share her experience online.
“I was scared at first to post it in fear others would tell me I was a horrible wife for not telling him often enough,” she explains.
But, in fact, it’s had the opposite effect. Pennington says that she has received messages of thanks and that is has caused many women to “realize they didn’t tell their husband enough either and (that) they were going to start.”
In the end of her post, Pennington expresses how many women feel about the men they have chosen to spend our lives with. “I need him to be my forever best friend, the father of my children, the one who would move the heavens and earth to see me smile,” she said. “So today I made sure to tell him I needed him and not for a few minutes to vent about my day but today and every day.”
It’s a powerful reminder of the importance of expressing to our loved ones just what they mean to us. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is just let the other person know that they are needed.
As Pennington put it, “I need you today.” And every day after.