If you have been a relationship for a while, you probably wonder how do I get my needs met?
Early on in relationship when we are just falling in love, there is a sort of honeymoon cocoon that we are blissfully encapsulated inside. It’s exhilarating and fulfilling to meet our partner’s needs and having them meet our needs… everything else in life seems to fall away as we are swept away entranced and intoxicated by the charms of our perfect partners.
Eventually life begins to creep in and a growing wedge comes between us as we feel hurt and resentful that our partner not only seems to have more needs themselves, but they are not valuing our needs in the same way they once did… it almost feels like they are purposely withholding from us, so we begin withhold as well.
While the volume and level of this power dynamic can be subtle or pronounced… it’s a normal stage in relationship development. There is NO shame in being here. It’s totally natural and the more compassionately aware and accepting we can be about it, the easier it is to pass through.
So if you have been caught in this, you have probably noticed that steadfastly demanding your partner to meet your needs has not been working so well for you.
There is a different way… it’s counter-intuitive, but works like a damn!
Getting our own individual needs met is our cultural paradigm, however, based on the findings and science of Stan Tatkin and Harville Hendrix, we are foundationally relational beings.
A relationship is greater at than simply two individuals together… there is the space between. The relationship itself is it’s own entity that requires nourishment and investment from both partners.
Rather than focusing on getting our own needs met, we invest in the relationship. By giving to each other, we strengthen the bond between.
Given that both partners are looking for more love, communication and connection, then give this investment strategy a try.
1. Start with a list.
Each of you think of 10-20 little things that your partner could do that would make you feel loved and cared for… like having your partner make you coffee in the morning, give you a back rub, or clean up after dinner (you want to have a large amount on your list so your partner has many things from which to choose).
2. Trade your lists and commit to doing just one or two things per day for the next two weeks.
It could be the same things over and over, or different things from the list every day. Again, it’s important that each partner has choice.
3. Observe what happens.
While it might feel like a chore at first, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by how your relationship evolves.
I would LOVE to hear your comments, experiences and questions. Please let me know by replying to this e-mail.