If you want a successful relationship for life then meeting your partners’ core needs is going to be one of the critical elements to achieving this lifelong goal.
In essence meeting each other’s needs should be simple, but when you look closer you will discover many hidden challenges.
Most people don’t start looking at their relationship needs until it starts to become a problem. This decision is the big mistake everyone makes.
You see if you wait until the relationship is in trouble at this point the desire to meet needs is rarely high if you can’t trust your partner to meet your needs.
I was discussing this concept with a client this week. He was convinced he had done all he could and it was his wife who needed my help.
As we broke down how he thought he was meeting her needs he learnt that although he was busy giving to her he was also generating problems for her – he didn’t know this.
Firstly he was giving from a place of love which was great, but what he was giving to her was not what she needed at all, he was giving to her what he thought she needed.
Essentially he was giving to her what he needed from her unaware that her needs were very different.
This would have been frustrating for them both because he was busy giving and to him she was ungrateful. She could see he was busy with her she never felt good about his actions.
One part of why she was not feeling good was because he was giving as a means to get his needs met, this would have also felt inauthentic to her and so she struggled to trust his motives.
This left her with a question. Is he giving to me because he loves me for me? Or is he giving as a means to get what he needs from me, which would have felt like a manipulation of her, making him look needy which isn’t attractive to her?
The result he was super busy and she is struggling to trust him so she protects herself from him. Eventually, he will mirror her and once two people are protecting themselves from each other the relationship is accelerating towards it’s end.
So when you look at this situation which is very common obviously the simple answer is we must find out what our partner needs.
I totally agree…
Every couple I meet actually has very little understanding of what they really need. So when a partner becomes upset and tells their partner what they think they need there starts to be a significant problem.
One couple came to me with an intimacy problem. She no longer felt sexually attracted to her husband but also didn’t want him to leave her.
He needed a sexual connection and she felt pressured to have sex and this was causing natural tension.
She had told him what she needed to get the sex back on track. She wanted him to help her move around the home and with the children.
He listened and helped her for weeks and she did agree he was really helpful and so life was easier for her.
So, on one hand, she was grateful for his help, but it didn’t create a sexual connection and so he gave up creating resentment in them both.
Now the problem was much worse.
The point I’m making here is I have yet to meet an individual who really knows what they need and how to communicate it so their partner understands enough to take action.
This is a significant problem.
So many men and women come in asking me this question. “Just tell me what to do, I’ll do it!”
Can you see the problem?
Your partner needs you to meet their needs and they don’t know how to tell you what they are because they actually don’t know, but if you don’t meet their needs they will be upset with you.
Men usually communicate their needs are simple but this is never the case for women to understand.
Some women expect their partners to just know what they need even though they have a little idea themselves what those needs are.
When couples come to see me and we all agree that working together makes sense one of my instructions is to stop trying to fix the problems.
The reason I ask this is because both of them have hidden needs they are trying to meet neither of them are meeting those needs and so every step they take is destroying their connection and trust in each other.
The key to solving any relationship problem is to find out what you don’t know and take actions that make you become valuable to each other again.
It is true that men and women naturally have very different needs and there are some key areas are common to most people.
It’s also important to note that our lives have also created needs that are specific to each person to help them create the best life they can.
What I see every day is people are meeting needs but in a way that is hurting them without them knowing.
It’s true that people are simply doing their best but with limited knowledge.
So truly lovely people can without knowing manifest devastation in their own relationship and life.
Curiosity is the key to learning and growing a successful life.