The secret to getting your relationship needs met is often as simple as identifying what you want and sharing the specifics with your partner. Read how Sarah and James used these four relationship communication steps to get their needs and desires met.
1. Identify what it is that you want.
Sarah and James desired to feel loved in their relationship. They felt confused and angry that even though they both wanted to feel loved and were trying to show love to their partner, neither of them felt like they were getting their needs met. Conversations and attempts to get their desires met often ended up in tears and fighting. They loved each other and wanted to stay married, but the unhappiness and conflict was tearing them apart.
2. Clarify what you want, need, and desire being as specific as possible.
In order for Sarah and James to feel loved in their relationship they needed to define what feeling loved meant to them and how the other person could demonstrate their love.
Sarah shared, “I would like to feel adored and appreciated. I would like James to hug and kiss me when he gets home from work. I want to feel connected to him. I would like him to spend time talking and listening to me. I would like him to tell me how much he loves and adores me. I would like to go on date nights again and share weekly fun times with just the two of us. I want to feel important to him and a priority in his life. I need to hear him say ‘I love you’ and ‘you’re beautiful’.”
James shared, “I need to have more frequent sex. I would like to have sex at least once a week, preferably more often. I need to hear her say ‘I appreciate you’ and ‘I’m grateful for all that you do’. I need her to give me ten to fifteen minutes alone after work so I can let go of the office before focusing on her. I want to feel connected and intimate with her.”
3. Communicate with your partner what you need or would like from them. Clearly stating specific words and actions they can use to fulfill your need.
Sarah and James both wanted to feel loved in their relationship, but it wasn’t until they clearly identified and clarified what “feeling loved” meant to each of them, were they able to get their needs met. Sarah and James shared with each other what it meant to them to feel loved. Sarah and James shared their specific insights and needs with each other. Their clear communication gave them specific insights and information on how they could give the love and affection their partner desired.
4. Commit to taking action.
Sarah agreed to give James ten to fifteen minutes of alone time after work before talking and connecting with him. James agreed to give her a kiss and hug when he got home from work before taking some alone time. James and Sarah committed to weekly date nights, sexual intimacy, and more time talking, sharing, and verbally expressing their love and appreciation to each other.
Sarah and James improved their relationship and got their needs met because they identified what they wanted and shared the specifics with each other. By following these four relationship communication steps you too can get your relationship needs met.
By Carolyn Flynn
Get more successful marriage and relationship communication tips by reading SMART Talk: A Workbook for Successful Marriage and Relationship Talk. Learn more here.
Flickr photo by The Wandering Angel