Is your relationship in trouble? If so, here’s why

dreamstime_xs_66434659As my relationship with Paul continues to deepen and expand, I keep trying to figure out how come this is happening.

It matters to me to use what I’m learning about what it takes to build a relationship that is loving, supportive and yes, respectful for the benefit of my clients and readers but, even so I came to realise that, although there’s a lot of value I can give, at the end of the day, getting a man like Paul is not something I can help you with.

I recently wrote a blog I called “How will you know if he’s the one?” the gist of which is that you need to get to know, like, trust and respect yourself first.

But recently I came across a book called ‘Choice Theory’ by William Glasser, M.D., a world renowned psychiatrist that added a new dimension to my understanding of what it takes to build successful relationships.

He talks about 5 fundamental needs, the need:

  1. for love and belonging
  2. for survival
  3. for freedom
  4. for power
  5. for fun

His premise is that, if the strengths of some of these basic needs differ significantly between you and your partner, you may be in trouble.

Say one of you has a high need for power – as in more controlling – then, if both of you have a high need for this then you will be locked in a constant power struggle.

On the other hand, if one of you always want to have your own way and the other is relaxed about it, then your relationship has a chance to succeed as long as, for exanmple, the latter’s higher need for love and belonging is met.

But controlling power is only one side of the coin.  The other side is the power to achieve, to make things happen, to make a difference for which we want to be valued and appreciated.

So, if one of you has this deep need to make a difference, chances are, it will take quite a bit of their time.  If you don’t have a passion of your own, you may come to resent your partner for spending so much time away from you.

To figure out the strength of your needs, a good start is to think back about the things you used to talk about with your girlfriends as a young woman when you were talking about boys.

Did you complain that this boy was always trying to get you into bed while you wanted him tell you he loved you?  Did you mention that another boy was always off with his mates and didn’t spend as much time with you as you wanted him to?

And what about you?  Do you tend to feel attracted to people who are emotionally and practically unavailable – as in married?  Fear to commit is a clue to a high need for freedom.

These insights are particularly helpful if you want to rekindle your relationship – it will help you understand what matters to him.

If you’re currently not in a relationship, they’re also helpful to help you figure out your own strongest needs and compare them with a man you have only just met – this is the time, before you rush into a serious relationship.

As for my relationship with Paul, this is what I finally understood:

  1. Paul and I both have high need for love and belonging – not just towards each other but, in his case, to his family, his sons, his mates and now, me. In my case it’s my friends – and now, Paul.
  1. Paul and I share a similar strength of need for freedom. We’re a ‘living apart together’ couple which means we both have our own life that is meaningful to us and we focus on it during the week.  Then, weekends, our strong need for love and belonging kicks in for each other.
  1. Paul and I both have a very low need for (controlling) power which makes it very easy to be together, without feeling defensive or wanting to make it clear that one of us is right and the other wrong but we both have a very high need for power to achieve something of value, to make a difference and to be acknowledged and appreciated.  That fits very well with our need for time for ourselves doing things that matter to us.
  1. We both enjoy learning new things and we both enjoy a good laugh. That makes our time together really enjoyable.

I’d love to hear from you if any of this makes you go “Aha!” and the light bulb comes on.

 

 

P.S.  I enable women build successful relationships, first with themselves and then with others.  That’s because your relationship with yourself shapes all your other relationships.

I enable women build relationships that are solid and durable and, especially, relationships where they experience love and intimacy.

If this is what you want too, call me on 020 8940 7056 or email me on sue@sueplumtree.com for a FREE one hour exploratory conversation.

 

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