Giving Your Partner What S/he Most Wants
This is a preview. The full article appears in Neil's book: Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship
Eric and Candy, who have been together two years, are not getting along. Candy says she needs more emotional support and sensitivity. Eric wants a more willing and nurturing lover. Neither of them feels that their needs are being met by the other, and both of them are refusing to give what the other person has asked for until their needs are attended to first.
Sound familiar? In fact, an intimate relationship is our emotional attempt to get our lifelong needs and desires met that were not met earlier in life.
To have a relationship with another person means you are also having a relationship with the person’s past—and his/her lifelong pain, hurts, angers, fears and disappointments. Most people are looking for someone to repair the past. They are seeking the nurturing and approval that will, in essence, compensate for what they did not get growing up.
You are just trying to work through unresolved issues and unmet needs from childhood—in an attempt to satisfy your lifelong desire for approval, affection, attention and love. But your partner, typically, has no idea that he or she is expected to compensate for what you went through long ago.