Couple Discussion: Sharing Expectations and Meeting One Another’s Needs
Meeting needs in marriage is very important. Individuals may not recognize their own needs or when they are valid and worthy of respect. Couples can also easily make assumptions about their spouses’ needs, hold expectations about how their spouse should meet their needs, and struggle to meet one another’s primary needs. Where needs are consistently not met in a marriage, there is likely to be a breakdown in connection or communication between you. This discussion and action guide will assist you to have an improved understanding of your own needs and your partner’s needs and how to meet them together effectively. You will also distinguish what needs that you have as a couple beyond your individual needs. Note that there is some spiritual content in this module.
After completing this material, participants will be able to:
• Understand individual expectations and needs
• Understand how meeting needs can benefit the marriage
• Determine how the primary needs can be met effectively
• Improve fulfillment of needs through thoughtful, loving service to each other
• Communicate effectively when needs are met or not met, why there is success or a challenge, and how to proceed
Many couples don’t understand, thoroughly discuss, or agree about their expectations and needs before marriage. Even if you did, your needs may have changed over time; in fact, they probably have. In a healthy marriage, you are intimately involved with speaking and acting in ways that are best for one another. This means behaving in ways that bring happiness and enhance the quality of each other’s life and your marriage. However, when you guess about how to meet each other’s wishes, expectations, and needs, you can end up unhappy or irritated with each other. You may also have a tendency to assume your spouse’s needs are the same as your own and act to meet them, which also can cause problems or leave primary needs unmet.
This module is designed to help you respectfully identify, discuss, and agree on what your needs are and ways of meeting needs. You will make commitments as a couple to behave in new ways and focus on your mutual commitment to your marriage. The intent is to help you build greater unity and harmony in your marriage. Thoughtfully helping each other progress is a skill you will likely work on for your entire journey together!
Most partners want to meet the needs of the other, but you may lack the knowledge and skills to discern the needs. Some partners may even feel they don’t deserve to have needs, communicate them, or to have them met. In some cases, partners can adopt a selfish attitude of entitlement that their needs are most important. This can be a reflection of inequality in the relationship and is something to look at rebalancing. Others may blame themselves for unmet needs. Whatever the circumstances, be aware that mind reading doesn’t work. It’s a warning sign if you are thinking to yourself that if your partner loves you and cares about you, he or she should automatically know what you need. Sorting all this out requires couple communication, observation, and insight to determine what actions to take. In addition, sometimes a third party may be able to help by offering a new perspective.
Author: Susanne M. Alexander
Publication Date: May 31, 2014
Publisher: Marriage Transformation
Format: eBook: PDF
Number of Pages: 14