Five Absolutely Foundational Needs for Relationship Success
I bet you are frustrated.
Do you find yourself wondering why these fights keep coming up? Or you have felt generally discontent recently but can’t pinpoint the root of it.
I’m sure it feels like crazy making to keep finding yourself in the same argument and stuck in the same destructive cycle time and again.
I’m guessing you wish you knew what you needed to stop and change the cycle.
Why does it seem like every other couple has this figured out? Most people appear to be happy together, do they know something you don’t?
The truth is they are clueless just like you, they just don’t show it; but you are about to figure it out.
We all have a number of primary core needs when it comes to relationships. When those needs aren’t being met, we usually try to get them met through ineffective and unsuccessful means, such as being passive aggressive, getting angry or even shutting down. This happens because we typically don’t know what those core needs are or how to express them if we do.
When it comes to relationship success there are five critical core needs that we all have in common and must be met for us to have a strong and fulfilling relationship. These core needs not only build upon each other, as each one is met it positively impacts the others and helps them grow and develop further.
Safety is part of the bedrock of any strong and satisfying relationship. Without safety you are not able to open up to your partner and become vulnerable.
Without safety you really can’t, or shouldn’t, let anyone in to the deeper parts of yourself.
Safety in a relationship is the feeling that you can truly be yourself with your partner, your whole self. It’s the experience of opening yourself up and trusting yourself to your spouse and having your spouse actively guard and protect that part of you. It’s when your partner acts in a certain way that you feel safe with them in the moment.
Ultimately, safety in a relationship is about the experience of being and feeling safe with the other person.
Imagine taking what you most hold dear in your life, anxiously putting it on a platter and with a degree of fear, handing that over to someone else, wondering what they will do with it. Security is knowing that they will cherish that which is most important and close to you and won’t hurt you.
Where safety has to do with experience of being protected and cared for, security is about being free from danger and knowing that you are indeed safe from intentionally being hurt. It’s essentially what keeps your safety constant and allows you the space to deepen your relational bond with your partner.
Where we usually experience safety directly with someone, we tend to experience security in a relationship with someone. Our need for security is met when the relationship as a whole is keeping us safe. This happens when we intentionally work on our relational dynamic, how we do conflict and how we build and strengthen our bond. Our feeling of security increases when we preemptively address our relationship issues and needs and come together to address those concerns.
When you don’t feel secure in a relationship it usually means unhealthy patterns and cycles of relating have developed. In order to regain security you need to first start by feeling safe with that person again.
You know what it is like to feel insecure, to question or wonder if you are good enough or if you have what it takes. It’s not uncommon to question how you feel or what you think or who you are, and to experience fear and doubt in those areas, ultimately wondering if you are worthy and have value.
Validation happens in relationship when your partner affirms your fears, feelings, concerns and self as legitimate and worthy of love and acceptance.
It’s the proverbial “it’s ok that you feel that way, your feelings matter.”
When you begin to question yourself or feel insecure, it’s difficult to validate your own emotions and experiences. Not that it can’t be done, but often times it is most successfully done, and even needs to be done, by those you love and trust the most.
Validation is one of those core needs, when met, adds to your feeling safe and secure with your partner and in your relationship.
It’s one thing for someone to tell you that who you are and how you feel is ok. It’s even more powerful for that person to receive you with open arms and welcome you into his or her life, with all of your strengths and faults.
I’ve heard stories from men and women who have longed for the approval of a parent or a spouse. They want to feel and experience that they are accepted for who they are.
Because it is often so hard to accept ourselves, especially our faults and weaknesses, it’s so critical to experience it fully in relationship. In fact, when we are truly accepted for who we are in our core relationships we are able to heal and grow in our acceptance of ourselves.
As a you experience acceptance, your feeling of safety and experience of security also increases. You are able to further commit yourself to your relationship and deepen your core bond together.
At your core is the need to be truly and deeply known. The safer you feel and the more accepted you are, the more open you become to being seen and known by your partner.
It is in this space that you experience intimacy, the closeness you long for.
Intimacy is that feeling of togetherness and familiarity you feel with that person who knows you the best. The more your partner sees and knows you the closer you feel to him or her.
Imagine a private place that feels cozy and warm. You feel a peaceful affinity for it, a deep affection. You know that when you sit down in that place you are safe and comfortable, unashamed you can let down your guard and breathe deeply. And you are not alone.
Identifying your core needs creates the space for you to learn not only how they specifically are met, but to also ask for them to be met. This can often be challenging and scary at first, but as you take risks and get to know yourself better you’ll feel more confident and at ease asking for what you need. This first step puts you on the path towards relationship success. Sometimes you need to work on de-escalating or changing a negative communication cycle before you can figure out what you need. Here are a couple of places to start to learn how to do that: Stop Fights Fast and Three Fight Patterns.
Ready to figure out what you need? I invite you to call me today (720-588-2005) and learn how to ask for what you need and get those needs met. Or you can schedule an appointment online today.