Do you find that asking for what you need in a relationship is difficult? Me too! Even as a therapist, with all the training and work I do day in and day out, I find that asking for what I need emotionally can be hard when I love someone deeply. My fears of pushing them away, feeling rejected, and a myriad of things (like how much time it takes to explain all this!) come up. But...we persist. Oftentimes it shows up as conflict...which is why when I came across this article by The Good Men Project, (read it here), it reminded me of my own current journey with relationship post divorce and how I had to learn how to ask for what I needed. New relationship--getting to know someone, how they tick, what draws them close and what pushes them away. This article does a good job of what gets in the way of asking for what we need-whether it be a disengaged partner or the fear of causing conflict.
But as a therapist, I know the solution...and it's to talk about it. Which is hard...even for a therapist! It's hard when the person matters so much and you have a lot invested emotionally.
I teach couples workshops and I KNOW what I need to do but in those moments when my fear comes up that I might get rejected or push my partner away, I find myself avoiding the conversation, or being sarcastic or snarky and then the message of "need" gets lost. I don't want to appear "needy"...yet all of us are just trying to work out our attachment needs (the way we connect with a partner based on how secure we feel in a relationship), in our adult relationships.
It also reminded me of the good work we do with couples in our Hold Me Tight® couples workshops. Relationships are rewarding and a lot of work, and vulnerability in asking for our emotional needs is hard! That's why Kathryn de Bruin, LMFT, and I are always excited to host and facilitate our Hold Me Tight® couples workshops...helping couples work out their negative dynamic and learn to ask for what they need, reduce conflict, increase a deeper understanding of our partner, and to facilitate a deeper emotional bond with each other.
Our next workshop is being held September 30-October 1. Join us and we can help you start or continue deepening your emotional bond with your partner! Click here for details and registration.
Hope to see you at one of our workshops!