When C and I were married, I knew I wasn’t getting what I needed out of the marriage, emotionally. I always felt deprived or starved for that one thing that was important to me. It doesn’t really matter what that one thing was, what matters is that it was something that was important to me because it made me feel loved, wanted, and secure in the marriage and I wasn’t getting it. So, of course, I constantly felt unloved, unwanted and insecure. This wasn’t a physical need, it was an emotional need. Everyone has emotional needs when it comes to their relationships with others. Some people may need gifts, others constant verbal affirmation, and others, quality time and attention. If you aren’t getting it, then you won’t feel satisfied that you are with the right person.
I found that when I asked C for what I needed to feel happy in the marriage, that even though he could easily find a way to give it to me, he wasn’t receptive. He wasn’t receptive because he didn’t understand my need and thought it was unimportant. He felt that way because it wasn’t his need- he had different relationship needs than I did.
For a long time, I beat myself up about it. I felt that it was wrong of me to want certain things from a relationship and that I didn’t have any right to ask my partner to give those emotional needs to me. I felt selfish for even thinking that I deserved to have what I needed out of the marriage to feel loved. So I spent a lot of time, trying to shut that need down and stop myself from wanting it. I stopped asking for it and instead retreated inside myself and dealt alone with the feelings of being unloved and unwanted. My mind was telling me that my husband loved me but without that important emotional need, I couldn’t fully believe that.
At first, I reasoned that maybe if I was giving C what he wanted out of a relationship, then he would return the favor. So I asked him what he felt was important and what he really wanted from me as his partner. Luckily he was good at verbalizing what was important to him. His requests were easily fulfilled and I went about doing them with no complaint. The only problem was, the favor wasn’t returned. So eventually, I gave up trying to give him what he needed. I began to feel resentful towards him. I turned away from him and as a result he turned away from me. We both slowly retreated away from each other and away from the relationship, until there wasn’t much left between us.
I then realized something, it wasn’t selfish of either of us to have relationship needs and ask for them from each other. It was a matter of respectful give and take in the marriage. The selfish part came when each of us refused to listen to each other and contribute to the marriage in the way that the other person needed.
So when I started dating again, I was determined that I would not get into a serious relationship with someone again unless 1. They could fulfill my relationship needs and 2. I could fulfill theirs. It’s not selfish to want something from a relationship and ask for it. If the other person can’t or won’t give it to you and it’s that important to you in feeling happy in the relationship, then they are not a good match for you. Plain and simple. So that is why I say that when you’re choosing your mate, you should be selfish. You deserve to have everything that you need to feel loved, satisfied, happy, and secure in your relationship.
One final thought on the subject. If you’re not getting what you need from a relationship and you haven’t communicated that need with your significant other, then you have no one to blame but yourself. It’s important to be open with each other. And on the other side, it’s just as important to be receptive to your partner when they try to communicate their needs to you. You should never dismiss them or make them feel like they are being selfish for asking, just because their need is not important to you personally. If that person is important to you, then their needs should also be important.
Chances are, you’ll end up with someone who has very different needs than you do. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good match, it just means that you both need to be receptive, understanding and as accommodating of each other as possible. Communication and compromise is vital to a relationship, but it’s never okay to settle for less than what you really want out of the relationship or marriage. If you do that, you won’t be doing yourself or your partner any favors.
Okay, just some thoughts I’ve had on my mind. I’m not saying I’ve figured everything out or that I’m perfect, but I’m trying. I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them. So that’s it. I’ll get off my soap box now. Thanks for reading.