Learning to Speak Our Needs in Relationships

“Why don’t you LISTEN to me?!”Relationship Therapy Denver CO

“He NEVER talks about his feelings!”

“She punishes me by withholding sex.”

These are some of the most common statements that I hear from people who come through my office and who I work with online. Have you ever said or been the recipient of such a statement?

Where did you learn to speak your relationship needs?

Most of us learn to speak our needs through words that are pretty blaming of the other person. And most of us, when we feel blamed by someone shut down, pull away or fight back. Not the best recipe for a happy and healthy relationship.

Think of something that you have said to your partner that has been blaming…you don’t pay attention to me, why are you always late, why do you talk so much, etc.

Now, get quiet and sit with what YOUR need is behind the blame that you gave to your partner. We all have some pretty basic universal needs.

  • Connection
  • Meaning
  • Fun/Play
  • Honesty
  • Physical Well-Being
  • Freedom/Autonomy
  • Safety/Peace

If you are upset that your partner isn’t paying attention to you, then your need for connection is not being met. When we learn ways to communicate this need without blame, shame, and guilt we are much more successful in getting our needs met by the other person. It might sound like this:

“I notice that I feel hurt and sad….when you work on the computer late into the night. I am realizing that I have a need to connect with you because you are important to me and I value our relationship. Would you be willing to spend 30 minutes with me before I go to bed and before you get on the computer?”

Start practicing speaking your relationship needs today!

Obviously every interaction is not going to go just like this but I invite you to practice using words that express your needs without blame and see how this can transform your relationships.

Need help sorting out your relationship needs? Take advantage of my online relationship coaching (720.457.3342 or book online now).