One of the best things you can do for the health of your romantic relationship is effectively communicate your feelings and what you need from your partner.
Even if you’ve been together a long time, it doesn’t mean that your partner automatically knows how you feel and what you need. So it’s up to you to stay clear on your needs and express them when appropriate.
You know what you need based on how you feel. That’s why this month’s messages emphasize the importance of developing a relationship with your feelings and the ability to express them in a healthy way.
As you go through different phases of your relationship and your life, your needs may change, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Humans are designed to grow…and growth requires change. We may have moved past the developmental stages of childhood, but even as adults, we still continue to evolve.
It’s natural for your needs to change over time, and it’s perfectly okay to ask for something new…something you didn’t need before, but you do now…you can feel it.
Your partner may not like your new request at first, and may even resist your idea or not respond at all. This is common.
When someone is used to things going a certain way, it’s often difficult for them to hear that their partner wants changes.
So often, we get comfy in our cozy little world of habits and routines and we like the feeling of familiarity.
Even though the circumstances in the relationship naturally evolve, we tend to cling to the familiar and avoid addressing the need to make changes. If this goes on for too long, it stands in the way of growth and we end up stuck in a rut.
For example, when you and your partner first got together, perhaps some of your needs at the time were for him to be a provider and/or a father to your children.
You go through years…maybe even decades…of raising children together. This is a HUGE component of your relationship and influences what you need from each other.
Then…many years later, after your kids leave home, that HUGE component is no longer one of the main connections. So what do you need now to feel connected with your partner?
Or…maybe you have a full-time career that gives you financial stability, and you no longer need your partner as a provider. This doesn’t mean your partner isn’t needed anymore, but it does mean that the relationship between the two of you has changed.
On the flip-side, maybe at one time, you filled your partner’s need of taking care of the home and other domestic responsibilities. But now that the kids have left, or now that you’re working more hours, you need more help at home.
The point is…in order for a relationship to remain fulfilling, both partners’ needs and desires need to be met, and those change over time.
Although it’s difficult, and perhaps not always welcomed, it’s still up to you to let your partner know if your desires and priorities have changed. Communication is essential.
Or perhaps you have expressed your needs, but they’ve been disregarded. We’ll follow up on that in next month’s messages :-).
If one of you is growing, and the other is not, that often causes even more discomfort and can be quite a painful stage in the relationship. Believe me, I feel your pain.
For now, focus on strengthening your emotional intelligence and learning to use it as a powerful ally. Your feelings are a huge part of who you are and need to be honored in order for you to be your best you.
Getting in touch with your feelings will give you clarity on what your needs are. And having clarity will give you more confidence in expressing your needs to your partner.
Some very simple examples are:
- I feel exhausted, and I need more help around the house.
- I feel hurt, and I need you to understand why so that we can communicate in a more loving way.
- I feel unappreciated, and I need to know that you appreciate me.
Communicating your needs to your partner takes skill. If you’re feeling hurt, it won’t help to just blurt it out in anger and blame it on your partner.
But if you’re able to first get in touch with your feelings about why you’re hurt, and then prepare yourself for an honest and respectful conversation about it, your partner will most likely be more receptive.
There are MANY ways to get in touch with your feelings. In addition to this month’s mindful messages and exercises, there are an abundance of resources (books, workshops, therapists, coaches, etc.), that can help you do this.
ANY practice you choose that will allow you to have a healthy and reliable relationship with your feelings is a powerful practice. And no matter the practice, consistency is always the key!
So…what step will you take today to nurture and honor your feelings? They are there….waiting for you to pay attention to them…and they will help guide you in the direction you want to go. It’s time to explore!
Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you tips, exercises and helpful information to improve the quality of your romantic relationship!
Healthy Relationship Coach