Long time lurker here. I just wanted to pop in and thank all of you, ladies and gents, for the advice and wisdom you have been giving on this thread. The hardest part about being a First Mate was realizing how much like a child I truly acted. Whining and having emotional break downs when he "just didn't understand" and couldn't read my mind. I almost broke our relationship the first few years and I have been scared for a while I would revert back to my childish ways. I began to search for better ways to communicate and found EMDR Therapy for my trauma'ed past and NVC training for future conversations. This morning however was the encouragement I needed to continue forward. He gave me the biggest compliment and he didn't even know it. He recently started a new job and his co-workers were amazed at how many times I did not call him to ask him to do something for me. I replied, "But I do, I text you all the time with questions." And he said, "Yes, but its for advice and guidance. You tell me, I'm going to go do such-in-such, which option do you prefer. You don't need me to hold your hand. You don't need me to ultimately do it myself. These guys have wives who call them for the smallest decision and they are already swamped at work themselves. Their wives don't have jobs, never leave the house, have no children, only hobbies, but they still have to fetch and carry for them, and go to work too."
My heart is heavy for these guys who don't have a reliable First Mate, but at the same time I feel overjoyed that my Captain recognized my progress! I use to be just like them, couldn't take a step without someone holding my hand. Thank you all! You may think that its only the person you replied to who reads your advice but I was here, listening and absorbing. <3