Honor your needs from the inside out to improve your relationship.
It would be wonderful if our partner or spouse met all of our needs for love, sex, intimacy, finances, fun, recreation, encouragement, safety, support, passion, romance, nurturing, you name it. But we live in a world where each person has their own variation of needs and how they like them met, as well as how they like to express love to others. It would be challenging to have every need met by one person, and it would most likely lead to a codependent relationship over time.
Healthy individuals know how to honor their needs without putting pressure on loved ones to meet all of them. Some can only be met through relationship, while other needs can be honored within. Explore the following four step process of honoring your needs in order to improve your relationship.
Identify Your Needs
Each person has their own set of needs that if not met create discomfort. Make a list of all your underlying needs. Do you need peace and quiet to work, or do you perform better in a noisy environment? Is it important to have your home and office orderly and tidy, or are you comfortable in a cluttered environment? Do you tend to express your thoughts and feelings with others or are you more of an internal processor? Do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments or do you prefer anonymity? What other basic needs do you have?
What are the important components for you in a romantic relationship or marriage? Is regular physical touch, sexual intimacy, verbal appreciation, intimate conversations, gifts, shared activities, spirituality, or creativity imperative? Another way to identify your needs is to notice what bothers you. For example, if criticism is painful you may have a need for appreciation. If you feel lonely or left out, it may be time for intimate connection or quality time spent together. If you feel unseen or unheard perhaps you crave acknowledgement. Identify your specific relationship needs.
What Needs are Met and Unmet?
Notice what needs are already being met in your life. Where are you able to honor your needs on your own? Which needs are being met through your relationship? Take time to appreciate the areas where your needs are met in connection with your partner or spouse as this positive perspective will improve your relationship.
What needs are not being met? How does this affect you? How does it affect your relationship? Determine which needs you can honor on your own and which ones need to be met through your relationship.
How to Honor Your Needs
Brainstorm all the possible ways you can meet your own needs, even the ones that are directly related to your relationship. The more you honor your needs, the more empowered you will feel and the less pressure you will put on your partner and the relationship. How can you fill your desire for connection, fun or recreation outside of the relationship? Would increasing self-love, self-acceptance or self-esteem be a way to honor your needs? Explore ways to give these gifts to yourself.
As you begin to fulfill your own needs, your partner will feel freer and this will improve your relationship. Sometimes when a spouse is not being pressured to do something or behave a certain way, they let go of resistance and then are naturally drawn to meet their loved one’s needs.
Communicate Needs with Your Partner
For needs that can only be met through your relationship with your spouse or partner, or that are a ‘make it or break it deal’ in a romantic relationship or marriage, discuss these with your mate.
To ensure that your partner doesn’t feel judged or bombarded with requests, schedule a time to talk about both of your needs, not just yours. Communicate from the heart and soul so you don’t get lost in mental judgments or emotional manipulation. Approach the subject from a place of partnership and teamwork. How can the two of you find ways to meet each others relationship needs in a healthy way together? And how can you support each other to honor your own individual needs?
As you explore ways to honor your needs for yourself and with your partner, your relationship will improve as you will both be happy and satisfied from the inside out.
Do you have any questions or comments about how to improve your relationship by honoring your needs? Please share below.