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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Are Your Emotional Needs Being Met in Your Relationship?

One of the leading causes of relationship breakups is when one or both people in a relationship feel that their emotional needs aren't being met.  And, yet, so many couples are reluctant to discuss this important issue with each other.  

Every Relationship Goes Through Its Ups and Downs
You can't expect that your spouse or partner will always be attuned to your emotional needs.  There can be many reasons why your spouse isn't meeting your emotional needs at a particular point in your relationship, including financial or work stressors, anxiety, medical problems, problems with your children or other family members.

But if you find that, over a period of time, your emotional needs aren't being met in your relationship, it's time that you and your spouse sit down for a heart-to-heart talk about what's going on in your relationship.

Are Your Emotional Needs Being Met in Your Relationship?
What Does It Mean to Have Your Emotional Needs Met?
You and your spouse or partner won't always be on the same page about everything.  For instance, you might have particular interests that your spouse doesn't have or vice versa.  So, neither you nor your spouse are likely to meet all of each other's needs.  This is why it's healthy to have friends that you enjoy seeing where you have common interests that you and your spouse might not have.

But when I refer to having your emotional needs met by your spouse, I'm talking about, on the most basic level, feeling loved and cared about by your spouse.

Each Person Might Communicate Love in a Different Way
Many  couples, who have been together for a long time, stop expressing their love and appreciation for each other the way they used to when they first met.  For a lot of these couples, it's not so much a matter of not caring any more as it is that, over time, they've forgotten how to communicate these feelings to each other.  Or, in some instances, they might never have known how to do it.

For other couples, each person in the relationship might have a different way of expressing love and appreciation.  If each person in the relationship is on a different wavelength about how to express love and appreciation, each of them might miss certain gestures that are meant to convey these feelings.

For instance, a husband might express how much he loves for his wife by making sure that her car is always in good working order.  But the wife in this relationship might feel unloved because, from her point of view, husbands who love their wives express it by saying, "I love you" or by bringing them flowers.

Since they're both coming from different places about how to express love, the wife might completely miss that this is her husband's way of showing that he loves her.  She might just think her husband likes tinkering with the car.  And the husband might feel unappreciated for his efforts.  So, it's important for each person to understand his or her spouse.  And there can be some compromise around these issues if the couple takes the time to talk about it.

You Deserve to Have Your Emotional Needs Met
Many people struggle  with the idea that they deserve to have their emotional needs met, especially if they grew up in a household where their emotional needs weren't met when they were children.  As adults, they might not know what they need in order to feel loved.  Or even if they do know, they might feel so undeserving that they don't feel entitled to it.

You Deserve to Have Your Emotional Needs Met


Getting Help
If you feel you're not getting your emotional needs met by your spouse, you're not alone.  Many people seek out help in individual therapy as well as couples counseling because of this issue.

If your spouse is willing to participate in couples counseling, you both can learn to change the current dynamic in the relationship.  You'll probably also learn a lot about what your spouse has been experiencing in his or her relationship with you.

Even if your spouse isn't willing, at this point, to participate in couples counseling, you can benefit from your own individual therapy to learn to deal with this issue in your relationship and to avoid the anxiety and depression that can often develop when your emotional needs aren't being met.

I am  a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me: josephineolivia@aol.com