Posts Tagged ‘caveman’

How To Get What You Need Even When Hubby Wants Opposite

Ribbon Sunset 2

Dear Terri,

“I’m an introvert who needs a lot of quiet time alone.  My husband is an extrovert with an open door policy to his friends.  We keep going round and round with this one.  How can we both get what we need?”

First, both people are right.  She knows what she needs, and he does, too.  That’s a (very) good thing.

How do you figure out how to get what you need, when your partner wants the opposite? 

You do not get there by:

  • pushing against the other person, duking it out, grabbing what quiet time you can get and being mad or disappointed when you don’t get what you need.
  • assuming you can’t get what you need because he wants the opposite.
  • assuming sacrifice is the answer, meaning “I must sacrifice what I want so you can have your needs met.” (And then, by the way, I’ll hate you and it will spill out in surprising and icky ways which neither of us will enjoy or feel good about.)  Or the opposite, meaning you must sacrifice so that my needs are met, which is just as distasteful.

You do get there by: 

  • regarding the situation as temporary
  • assuming there’s a good solution you haven’t thought of yet, that will not only satisfy you both, but will thrill you both, and bring you closer.
  • being creative problem solvers — get curious, play with ideas, brainstorm, be light-hearted, feel receptive rather than combative or in competition, be open to unusual solutions.
  • coming from partnership and being willing to help each other (or find someone who can help you)
  • coming from a place of optimistic generosity rather than scarcity (I’m sure there are ways to work this out and I’m looking forward to that vs. here we go again, this will never work, or I can’t get enough of what I need)

For sure, the more you push against the other person to get what you want (energy of blocking or preventing) the more they push back and the two of you are stuck.  You’re locked in.


What is a female introvert?  What does that mean?

An introvert is a person who is energized by spending time alone.  Introverts use the cocoon method of recovery and re-generation.  We get under the covers.  We get quiet, sleep, read, and putter around the house when nobody’s around.  We don’t answer the phone.  We meditate, contemplate or write in our journal.  We take time for a home spa day, with soft music, a hot bath, soothing scents, and soft light.  If no one is around, it makes it — way! — easier to relax and go within.

If you don’t take human instinct into the equation when it comes to intimate relationships (and this is a big subject) it is my humble opinion that you’ve got no chance in a million of creating a brilliant relationship.

There, I said it. 

To truly have fun with each other, to take things less seriously, you’ve got to know a little about your inner cavewoman and his caveman.  You’ve just got to.  We can’t cover this sprawling subject here, but that blog post will get you started. 

Here’s a tiny example of how cavewoman applies to the question at hand.

When “female” is added to the introvert equation, the importance of “no one being around” heightens.  This is because the feminine aspect is very tuned in to the environment.  On the level of instinct, the feminine aspect is constantly scanning regarding physical safety.  Compared to the masculine, we’re smaller and weaker, and we scan for survival purposes.  It’s built into our DNA.  It’s totally natural.  If you don’t believe me, think about how you get out of your car in a dark parking lot in an unfamiliar city.  That’s a clear example, but there are many other subtle examples all day long.

In addition to safety first, there is also the instinct of nurturing.  In the hunter-gatherer model, females are generally the gatherer, and also the nurturer.  We take care of the young especially, but we take care of whoever is around that could use a little nurturing.  If guests are in our house, we think about them.  Are they hungry?  Are they comfortable?  Do they need extra blankets and pillows?  Are they happy and content?

So to regenerate, females need a break from having others on our radar.  For mothers with children, it’s heavenly when the husband leaves for work, the kids go off to school.  Then, you can turn your full attention to other things.  When the house clears and becomes quiet, maybe you walk to your painting studio and do your thing.  Or you write, meditate or exercise before you head out for the day, because you know everybody’s OK, and your radar is clear.  For women who have company for the weekend, no matter how much we enjoy having them in our midst, it’s always lovely when everyone leaves. 


  1. Do you know how you work best, what you need, or what brings out the best in you?
  2. Are you able to explain this fully to your partner/mate?
  3. Are you curious what your mate needs, too?  Have you asked him/her?
  4. Are you willing to explore with your mate for possible answers that work for both of you?

Tell your husband what it does for you to have your quiet space.  Also tell him what this means for him.  What kind of person/partner does this allow you be?  How does this bring out the best in you?  When you get your quiet time, you feel more (what?) and what does that mean for him?  What can you give him when you’ve had your down time?  

  • “I like you (much) better when I feel rested and relaxed.”
  • “I like you better when I feel like a woman.”
  • “When I’ve had time to myself, I’m in love — with me, with life and with you.  I want to be in love with you, so having my down time is important.”

So, sometimes, it’s just a matter of telling your husband what having what you need does for you — and then he’s all over it.  He wants to give that to you, because he wants to enjoy the best of you, not the watered down, irritated snapping turtle version.

Give this  problem to him.  Ask him to help you solve it or be a part of solving it.  And then give useful feedback that guides him.  And be direct.  “No, that doesn’t help.” Or “Yes, that helps.”

You might say, “There’s something I need, I don’t know how to get it and I’d love to hear your ideas.”  The masculine enjoys solving problems, and especially likes solving problems that makes a better world for you, and therefore for him.  Everybody wins.

Maybe there’s an easy adjustment that would work for both of you.  Can some of his extrovert time happen outside the home?  Meet at a park/soccer field/football field/golf course, or somebody’s office or wherever.  Or what about the location for your quiet time?  You leave for a spa day while he has buddies over to watch football?  You come home all happy, he’s had time with his friends, and you’re both flying high.  You like each other better when you’re flying high!

Solutions will come when you decide to be partners.  Your description of your starting point is two people on opposite sides of the fence.  You’re not holding hands thinking about this subject together and being curious about the solutions.  It sounds like more of a tug-of-war contest, which is why it goes back and forth or “round and round” as you said. 

So to find your solutions, shift gears.  Look at the problem together.  Call on your best creative problem solving skills, be curious, and see what shows up!  You’ll find your answers!





Continue Reading

Ladies, Meet Your Inner CAVEWOMAN


She’s with you 24-7  — because she’s IN your DNA.  And do you know what? Mostly, our inner CAVEWOMAN complains, worries, and micromanages.  She is careful — about small things and big things and everything in between. And here’s the bottomline deal — she’s very focused.  On surviving. It’s her job to keep you alive.  So…. she monitors, keeps her eye on, checks. The good news?  You can tell when she’s monitoring! Do you know how to tell? (Pause here and see if you know the answer to that…) Go ahead.  Look away from the page and take a guess. The answer:  when you feel tension. Yes, when you’re uptight.  Even the slightest little teensy weensy bit. Keep in mind that tension occurs in many forms.  Some forms are  fairly subtle, some are obvious.   For instance, there is tension when you react to something, feel offended, defend yourself, feel an urgency to correct someone or something, talk to someone, tell someone some news, tell the full story, do something for someone because they asked you and you “should” do it. Ladies, meet your inner CAVEWOMAN. It’s important that you get to know her.tension Why? If you don’t know who she is and what kind of trouble she can get going in a second and a half, you’ll think she’s YOU, the real you. And that’s not helpful. At all. And you’ll think she’s telling you the truth.  (She’s not.) And you’ll think you have to listen to her.  (You don’t.) She will mess up a relationship with a man faster than you can say lickety split.   She’ll talk to you and give you unsolicited advice when you’re around your son, your father, your brother, your husband, your boyfriend, or the guy down the street even if he’s trying to help you.  She will tell you what to say and do, and it’s (usually, almost always) not helpful (at all!). She’s not you.  She’s CAVEWOMAN. She’s the ding-dong bell of instinct. The ring-a-ling girl of survival. She’s got some favorite methods of saving you from the tiger, which is her job.  Check these out.
  • She complains.  The purpose?  Simple.  To make things right — so nobody will die.
  • She questions, corrects, fixes, adjusts.  She even questions competent people who know what they are doing.  She wants to make sure that things will turn out right.  By doing it her way.  Yep, so nobody will die.
  • She worries.  About things going wrong.  If things go wrong, people might die, especially the nice people who could save her from the dangers of the jungle, and then she would die, too.  OMG.
  • She thinks too much.  About who is on her side.  Who is right and who is wrong.  Because if she is on the wrong side of things, she might not get saved.  From all the tigers roaming on the wrong side of the fence.
  • She obsesses.  About ridiculous details, mostly involving fake urgency.  She makes you think that unimportant things are important.   She doesn’t know when enough is enough, the day is done, and you it’s time to chill out and relax.  She tells you you should do this and that and the other thing (just one more thing, and one more thing, etc.) at 11 pm when you could be heading for your soft pillow.  She does not know how to leave the dishes until the next day, and she thinks that sending that final email will save the world.caveman  And everyone will live.
  • She has habits.  Sure-fire methods.  Tried and true ideas.  Like how to load the dishwasher.  How to prepare food.  How to cut a vegetable.  How to prepare for a trip.  How to raise children.  She’s doing things the way she’s doing things for one reason.  To save the tribe.  Her babies.  Her hunter.  And herself of course.
  • She wants desperately to please others.  Why?  So she can stay in the cave where it’s safe from danger.  If she’s surrounded by people, she’s protected.  And if she is nice enough, those other cave people will help her in times of trouble.  They will look out for her and save her life.
  • She is with you when you are by yourself walking in a (well lit, even…) parking lot at night.  She looks in your car, around your car before you get in it.  You can feel her on high alert when you’re walking on a dimly lit street in New York City.  Hang onto your purse.  Look behind you.  Notice the people walking near you.  Read the faces.  Notice the intent. Does that guy look scary?  Cross the street and get away from him.
  • She convinces you that being alone is bad.  It’s dangerous.  It’s not good.  You have no help.  Surely, you’ll die if you’re on your own.  So your feeling of loneliness drives you toward being with other people, which is safer.
  • She is desperate to appear to be low-maintenance.  “Oh, I can do it myself, thank you.”  If she is less trouble (and more helpful) surely she is more valuable, right?  She has to be nice to her sisters and friends, too, so her these women don’t rat on her and throw her out of the cave (to starve, of course.)  So don’t disagree with the Sisterhood!  You don’t want to go there!  You’ll die!
  • Are you getting the picture?  Whew!
  • She shows up sure as tootin’ around men.  Men are bigger and stronger and they could kill her if they wanted to, so CAVEWOMAN thinks it’s important to be extra careful and take that big guy down a notch or two if he’s getting a little too whatever… too loud, pushy, powerful, successful, handsome, funny, or arrogant.   She doesn’t want him to be too good, too  appealing to other women, because he might leave.  And then she would die.  So she makes fun of him, just enough to keep him humble.  Ignores him, just enough to keep him less powerful.  Doesn’t appreciate him fully.  Withholds sex.  Criticizes him in front of his friends.  Cuts him down.   She takes him off his game, so she can feel safe (he won’t get too full of himself and kill her or leave her.  (But this is a longer story… and the short story is that taking his power away backfires.  We should talk about that another time.)
The Good News is that CAVEWOMAN is NOT you — not the real you.  But if you want to enjoy being the real YOU —  it’s a good idea to learn to see CAVEWOMAN.  Learn to feel her and know when she is running the show. Awareness is a key to any change.too much tension And here’s the thing.  Welcome her.  With open arms.  There is no better way to create positive change or positive momentum than welcoming whatever is in front of you, even if it’s CAVEWOMAN.  Might as well, because if you resist her, or push against her or deny that she’s there, she will stick to you like Velcro.  And run your life. The secret to being more aware is to start small.  At first, don’t try to fix anything. Start by noticing  when CAVEWOMAN ‘s active in you.  Just notice her. Remember the biggest hint for recognizing her presence:  any time you feel tension in your body, she is with you and (in that moment) running the show. Really important:  If CAVEWOMAN is there, and you don’t see her, you will make decisions — say things and do things — simply to relieve your tension.   That’s not necessarily a good thing, if it means casualties (which is what CAVEWOMAN is known for, especially male casualties.)  And then you can’t figure out why he has distanced himself, doesn’t talk to you or confide in you as much anymore, why he spends a lot of time away from home, why he doesn’t consult you, why he doesn’t tell you the whole story, and why he strays. Feeling pressure?  That’s CAVEWOMAN. She is telling you that there is an emergency and you should protect yourself from disaster.   In your younger years, she will tell you to date a man who is not a match to you, just because it’s time to have a baby.  She will tell you to pretend to be unavailable or play hard to get, just to keep him dis-empowered and a little off balance.  She will find the best enemy she can find, and tell you to marry him.  She will have you say things that are not true, be someone you’re not, or pretend to enjoy things that you don’t, just to be with a man who is a potential baby-maker for you and your survival instincts. Seriously.  This is what it boils down to.  Survival.  We are not designed to get along and fall in love and understand each other.   Being in love and getting along takes a little work and awareness. However, we are designed perfectly — to survive.  Survival trumps everything.  She’s only worried about food and shelter and a warm fire. CAVEWOMAN is all about saving your life, even if it doesn’t need saving.  She didn’t get the memo that you have plenty of groceries and a nice place to live.  She is unaware that you have meaningful employment and a steady income and you’re loved by many friends. cavewoman modernShe has no clue that you’ve “made it” in the world.  She doesn’t know about the “Awesome Business Woman of the Year” award.  She isn’t aware that you own a thriving business, have happy and productive employees, a pension, a second vacation home, excellent investments and a very happy savings account, thank you very much. She doesn’t have access to that information.   She is certain that you need to be saved from lions and tigers and they are everywhere. So…. Notice her.  Welcome her.  Take her by the hand.  Have a little heart to heart talk.  Celebrate that you see her.  She’s there to help you in the way she knows how. Soon, just by noticing her, things will start to shift.  First, you’ll notice her, and nothing much will change except the fact that you notice your DNA is talking. Then after a while, you’ll notice her and feel her influence, and you won’t need to succumb to it.  You’ll get it.  You’ll say to yourself, “Oh, that’s just my CAVEWOMAN.”  You’ll calm down.  You’ll smile, because in that moment, you have cut the puppet strings. Yes, you can evolve your hormones.  You and CAVEWOMAN can be friends, and she will yield to you.  You can be in charge of both of you. I would LOVE to hear your CAVEWOMAN discoveries!  When does she show up for you?  What do you notice? Knowing about CAVEWOMAN is a totally liberating thing — so important in relationships (especially our relationship with ourselves.)  Your input would be very helpful — I’d like to write more about this and do public talks about this subject. Thank you in advance for any comments, examples, or questions you might have!


Comments and thoughts welcome — scroll down to the comment boxes.  I will approve your comment and you’ll see it posted a little later.  The approval process is an interim step which helps to avoid spam. In Care of Relationships with Terri Crosby– Tools For Creating Positive Momentum.  Terri is a relationship mentor.  She helps create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. If you are ready to take your relationship to the next level, you can sign up to be on the mailing list HERE.  To subscribe to her blog, hit the subscribe button on this page and add your email address. Continue Reading

Intimacy Is Everywhere

Hello Everyone,

Today, intimacy.

Love to you all,

Read more

Friday Love: Bam! Gate Breaking, Anyone?

Good Friday, Everyone!

Today, I’m sharing a story about how I accidentally accomplished something on my bucket list. I ran through an exit gate while looking the other way. The hood of my car is scratched up, and one windshield wiper is a mess, but let’s have a good laugh about how we never expect what “getting what we want” includes!

Let me know if you relate…

Read more

Enough with the Name-Calling

It seems to be a growing fad these days to call someone a narcissist, or declare they are toxic.
Political name-calling is similar—we assign politicians and voters to categories, and brush them off as if they are unintelligent, inferior, or even worthless.
By labeling others, we miss their humanity. We gloss over their struggle, their best effort at dealing with life. We dismiss them.
We do to them what we believe they are doing to others.
Look past a label, and in the soft light of day, there stands a person like you or like me, coping as best they can. At the end of the day, no friend, parent, or lover making conscious choices intends to be mean, or to ignore, or to embellish. There is always more to the story.
If we label others, then for sure we label ourselves. We trap ourselves into believing we are less than. Or not enough. Or we don’t give ourselves the time and forgiveness to work through our “stuff.” Maybe, if we stopped accusing others of narcissism, we could forgive ourselves for those moments when we were narrow-minded, inconsiderate, or afraid.
When it comes to labels, nobody wins.
So, my dear people, I suggest we peer a little deeper into ourselves to investigate a need to separate ourselves from others by tacking them with a label filled with disdain or scorn.
It is my wish that you view this video and take it to heart.
Much love,

Read more

Get in touch

Terri Crosby

Talk to me