I've been pushing John to pay more attention to feelings, both his and mine. Somehow it feels right to push right now, even though I don't think it is going to work. Instead, I'm beginning to see a middle ground that we can actually get to, at least for now.
I'm going to need to learn to ask for what I need, which has always been a weakness of mine.
Here is an example. We were driving the other day and I noticed an ironman sticker on the car ahead of me. I said if I ever do an ironman (long triathlon) I am going to be very tempted to get a small tattoo of the ironman symbol. John said "I hope you won't, that would be such a bad example for the kids." I was silent for a while and then said "I am a person too." He wanted me to explain that and then said I had the right to do what I wanted but he still hoped I wouldn't because he thought it would be such a terrible example for the kids. I'm thinking that instead I could have said: "See my feelings--I'm feeling sad that I probably won't ever be able to live my dream."
If I'm willing to tell John exactly what to do, he will be able to do something to meet my needs for longer. That is better than nothing. A wise priest once told me that where we can hope to get (though it is very hard) is to learn to enjoy the little bit that a limited person who is close to us can give us, instead of resenting what they can't give us.