No relationship can possibly attain peace and happiness in the long run, until partners learn to understand and respond to each other’s emotional needs. These emotional needs are –
a. The emotional need to be heard: your partner’s expectations that they actively been listened to by you. This need may sound very simple, but a large number of people never build capability to listen to others, as everyone desires to talk about themselves. In marriages sometimes partners get so filled with their own problems and life issues, that they forget that partner too needs to speak up.
b. The emotional need to belong and feel accepted: Every person wants their partner’s acceptance by their partner for who they are, regardless of flaws, imperfections, or insecurities. Each partner needs to feel at home in their relationship, and comfortable enough to share what they think and feel, without judgment or rejection.
c. The emotional need to be valued: It is of the utmost importance for any individual to feel that they are important to their partner and that they come before other people, other commitments, and other aspects of their partner’s life, within reason. This is not to say that an individual should not have a sense of independence, or friends, or a life outside of their relationship, but each partner should feel valued by the other and know that if they need the other, they will be prioritized.
d. The emotional need to feel desired: It is important for the members of romantic couples to feel desired by their partner, or to feel a level of intimacy with their partner. This does not necessarily have to involve sex. Intimacy can simply mean closeness or closeness in a private way. Something as small as a hug or kiss can be intimate, or even a glance shared across a crowded room. It is an important part of any healthy relationship for a partner to feel desired on an intimate level.
The question is how to communicate your emotional needs to your partner, because it is not an easy task, especially if you sometimes have people-pleasing tendencies. In this blog Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo (a.k.a Delhi’s most popular marriage therapist and relationship expert) shares the SECRETS of successfully telling your emotional needs to your partner.
1. Practice using “I” word instead of “you”
Technically sentence beginning with You word leads to listeners become defensive. Hence try to practice sentence construction using the “I” word. For example:-
“You really frustrate me when you don’t listen to what I’m saying.”
“I feel unheard/ pained when you choose to look at your phone instead of me when I’m talking about something that’s important to me.”
2. Speak clearly and calmly
Generally, unplanned communication (especially if communication between couples has turned poor) can lead to further altercations. Hence prior to expressing your emotional needs to your partner, prepare your sentences, stay calm, avoid getting angry. You may not succeed in the first few attempts, but if you stop getting angry and fall in the cycle of counter-accusation with your partner (if he/she turns defensive or attacking). But gradually you will succeed. After all your partner too may be burdened with emotional pain and frustration.
3. Be careful while using sorry
Sometimes, overusing “you are sorry” may give tell your brain and may reflect in the conversation, that the other person is more important than you. That’s not true. In a good relationship, both partners are equal. Instead of jumping to Sorry, take a moment to feel what’s really going on and choose your words in an empowering way. For example,
Instead of using, “Sorry, I’m late!”
“Thanks for being so patient, I really appreciate it.”