aklacor727

Conflicting needs in a relationship

15 posts in this topic

Pondering what a healthy way to go about conflicting needs in a relationship. 

You desire and need one thing. Your partners desire/need directly conflict with that. 

How can both people be authentic/true to themselves about their feelings when this occurs?

It seems to me the only way is if one of the people need to be willing to have acceptance and let go of that need, at least temporarily until the other person gets to the same place. 

What I don't want to do is cause my partner to suppress or repress their need having it become part of their shadow. Or would you say temporary suppression is ok/healthy/normal?

Just looking for some insight further into this.  Has anyone dealt with this? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relationship means compromise and meeting each others needs. Give and take. When sharing lives with someone there is going to be circumstances in which both can't have what they want, expecting so would be a bit childish. 

In regards to your question, the question is really how fundamental and how important are these needs?

There are trivial desires/needs that make little practical difference if they we let go of.

On the other hand, there are things that no person has the right to deny us and not allowing ourselves, or our partner, to pursue such e.g. "dreams" makes no good relationship. 

Often we're much too attached to ideas that consititues desires and needs, and when adding distance and perspective, a lot of such attachments to desires are better off being "detached". 

Dare one ask what kind of conflicting needs we're talking about? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, aklacor727 said:

Pondering what a healthy way to go about conflicting needs in a relationship. 

You desire and need one thing. Your partners desire/need directly conflict with that. 

How can both people be authentic/true to themselves about their feelings when this occurs?

It seems to me the only way is if one of the people need to be willing to have acceptance and let go of that need, at least temporarily until the other person gets to the same place. 

What I don't want to do is cause my partner to suppress or repress their need having it become part of their shadow. Or would you say temporary suppression is ok/healthy/normal?

Just looking for some insight further into this.  Has anyone dealt with this? 

Teal swan talks about that one has to take the person that their are in a relationship with as their "own".

This means not compromising, but finding solutions so that both parties get what they want and feel heard/seen/ loved. Furthermore this also includes being open and vulnerable about one's needs, aswell as the willingness from both parties to GIVE love to their partner instead of TAKING LOVE from their partner.

This approach is not a compromise aka win lose or lose lose approach. This is a win win, as to what is best for both collectively and giving time and space for that person to be vulnerable, listen to and get their needs met. What's the exact need/ problem  you're talking about? If it's unclear, feel free to explain further and I'll try to help you apply this concept on your situation.

Besides this if one has super conflicting needs and a bad mismatch " energetically" - comparability might be the issue, which is a real thing. If that's the case one is best to move on. I don't know the details, so I don't know if this is the case. You have to do more research!


"Sometimes when it's dark - we have to be the light in our own tunnel"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aklacor727 This is one of the questions that is on my mind very often. 

I agree with @Eph75 . We often think we need certain things (such as having freedom to leave our clothes on the floor) and when we really explore these things, they are often needs from another developmental stage that we are clinging to but that aren't actually good for us.

Not saying one has to give up those "needs" but I think it's important to honestly ask oneself if that is a real need we have to pursue to feel fulfilled or if it comes from ego (i.e "I don't want people to tell me how I should do stuff so I rebel against that"). 

There are needs that I think are more complex. Let's say one partner has a higher sex drive than the other one. It's easy to get triggered and become pushy if you're the one with the higher libido, but that will only make your partner close down. IME, by relaxing, letting go, becoming present to what's unfolding and taking full responsibility over your sexual needs, you don't need to force things and that often leads your partner to open up again. And if he/she doesn't and it's a recurrent issue, you can try different stuff (couples therapy, work on communicating better, exploring which dynamics aren't helping or even consider breaking up if it's a deal breaker for you). 

IMO one has to decide how important those needs are, but not only listen to the ego. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aklacor727

It's case by case basis.

Sometimes you can't find a Win/Win, in which there is a compatibility problem or the need for a paradigm shift.

However, most of the times you can find a Win/Win. That's what Steven Covey talks about in 7 Habits. You got to find a way for everyone to get what they want, assuming the needs are genuine.


Loving a new world into being.

Energy healing, music making, tree hugging, sacred being.

YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/k_gzVJIeTlI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

@Eph75 @SamC @Farnaby@aurum

Thank you for responding. My need is to have space and not feel pressure whatsoever regards to sex until I get to a certain place emotionally. To feel authentic in my actions and not ignore my feelings. His desires conflict with that.  I understand of course that sex is a fundamental need and I want to be able to get to that place. He has been somewhat accepting and patient but it affects him.

We have a complicated past, but without going into the nuances of all of that, I need this time to be able to get to a certain place emotionally to where we can have a sustainable long term future. My hopes is that I can there but in the meantime I want to handle things in the best way in regards to his side of things.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, aklacor727 said:

 

@Eph75 @SamC @Farnaby@aurum

Thank you for responding. My need is to have space and not feel pressure whatsoever regards to sex until I get to a certain place emotionally. To feel authentic in my actions and not ignore my feelings. His desires conflict with that.  I understand of course that sex is a fundamental need and I want to be able to get to that place. He has been somewhat accepting and patient but it affects him.

We have a complicated past, but without going into the nuances of all of that, I need this time to be able to get to a certain place emotionally to where we can have a sustainable long term future. My hopes is that I can there but in the meantime I want to handle things in the best way in regards to his side of things.

 

Sex is a very important need for a man. Woman needs intimicy in order to have sex, while men needs sex in order to feel intimicy. It sounds to me like your really aware of his needs,cause of his dedication to always remind you of his needs.

I'll theirforleave the importance of listening to his needs aside, cause I get the impression that you already know that.

You're not ready which probably has to do with past experinces or trauma ect. That's totally fine, and he needs to know and see that and meet you with love and understanding where you are at, while you at the same time give yourself the time and what you need to figure this out for yourself. Counseling is always a great option, but you know best what you need. Don't hate yourself for not being ready, you have the right to feel those emotions and not feel ready.

Talk with him, meet him where he is at, and tell him that you wish he will meet you where you are at, and that you two will come up with a solution for you both. Don't settle for a solution that only works and feels well for him. If he is not into finding a solution which both can feel good about, than he is not worth your time anyway. Than your not compatible.

 

Edited by SamC

"Sometimes when it's dark - we have to be the light in our own tunnel"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, aklacor727 said:

My need is to have space and not feel pressure whatsoever regards to sex until I get to a certain place emotionally. To feel authentic in my actions and not ignore my feelings. His desires conflict with that.  I understand of course that sex is a fundamental need and I want to be able to get to that place. He has been somewhat accepting and patient but it affects him.

We have a complicated past, but without going into the nuances of all of that, I need this time to be able to get to a certain place emotionally to where we can have a sustainable long term future. My hopes is that I can there but in the meantime I want to handle things in the best way in regards to his side of things.

@aklacor727 I think I have been in your boyfriend's situation before as well. That of wanting sex from an unwilling/unready partner. What would have helped me is communication. Maybe you can tell him up front how you feel and why, and ask him to accept you as you are. In my case, the girl I wanted sex with finally revealed that she has trouble with sex because in her only prior experience the guy was being overly aggressive, to a point that it scared and traumatized her. I wish she told me this upfront because it would have led me to take her "rejections" less seriously and more compassionately. So that's my advice - talk to him early and often. If you need good books for this I'd recommend The 7 Principles For Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. 

And props to you for taking the time to heal yourself emotionally. I am on that same boat and it just gets better and better every week. I feel like my next relationship will last and be healthy. Keep going (and keep us updated :) )

 


"Yes is the answer... And you know that! Fasho!

Yes is surrender! You gotta let it... you gotta let it GO!" - John Lennon, Mind Games

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aklacor727 

@SamC & @NatureB beat me to it. Communication is imperative in order to not make him feel denied or rejected. And communication that is not directly connected to those situations where he expresses his desire for sex. Sex drive/lust makes us myopic and reasoning at such times is more limited than otherwise.

27 minutes ago, aklacor727 said:

until I get to a certain place emotionally

I think this is an interesting point.

Do you know what that place looks like and what it takes for you to get there?

Also, how does your boyfriend fit into that emotional equation?

How can he contribute to make this happen?

If you have an idea what this would be, communicate with him so that he can [choose to] be an active component in the creation of such a sustainable long term future as you mention you want, not making him feel like a bystander in his own life, waiting for something unknown?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eph75 said:

not making him feel like a bystander in his own life, waiting for something unknown?

This is important and what I think I need to figure out how to make him feel secure but in an authentic way to how I'm feeling. The truth is I care for him but he caused alot of trauma in my past and while I have forgiven him on a mental level, trauma gets stored in the body and I am reading a book on different techniques to move the trauma through physically. I am hoping eventually this takes away the guard that I feel is up towards him. He is supportive and asks about what I'm learning in the book, etc. Luckily our communication through all this is open and honest. 

But right now when he asks if I think it will work I said I don't know I will have to see. The damage may be done. It is honestly how I feel but at the same time i can see how it could cause him to feel as @Eph75 said, a bystander waiting for the unknown. But at the same time I'm open with about what he can do on his end to help me get there including not pressuring sex,  and keep doing what hes doing in regards to continue showing me the growth hes made since the past when our relationship was traumatic.

We were in an on/off relationship for a long time and were off this past time for almost 3 years until reconnecting 7 months ago. He has truly come a long long way.  I am seeing if I can get there again emotionally but it is taking a long time.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aklacor727 Oh I understand your first post better now. Yes, you're right that forgiving on the mental level is one thing, but your body may not feel ready to open up again yet. 

In that case, I think couples therapy +  a trauma informed/trained therapist for your own therapy would be a good idea. 

Also, while it's important to keep each other emotions in mind, you can't really control if he will feel rejected, insecure, etc. That's probably his stuff he needs to work through. At the same time, as a guy who has felt that way, I agree that communication can go a long way, because otherwise the awkwardness, the subtle tension and disconnection, while pretending that everything's fine can be very triggering (not saying that you're doing that, just something from my experience in case it helps you).

When we're triggered or shut-down, it's usually not a good time to start problem solving. But when you feel that way, you can let him know how you're feeling and decide to find a time to talk through all this stuff when you're both in a more grounded state. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Farnaby that is true, thank you it's always helpful to hear from another perspective especially from someone that's gone through it. It's a nice reminder to hear that I can't control his reactions, because through all of this I know what's best for me but I've been wanting to make sure I do my best by him too. I'll just have to be sure to continue to be open with my communication. 

I'm really hoping this book helps. I also discovered something called bioenergetics, body exercises to help the body release trauma. Therapy even if only just for myself would definitely not hurt. I have been without health insurance but finally got it for this upcoming year, so I feel good about that :)

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aklacor727  Did he merely trigger some past trauma, or cause it? If the latter, I don't understand why you would be with someone who caused you trauma. I'm skeptical because from my paradigm it looks like being violent and not loving towards yourself. Obviously I don't have the complete picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@flowboy A combination of both.

I can understand why you would say that and I ask myself the same question sometimes and think it may be easier to just start fresh with someone else.

I think the main reason why I am giving it a chance is because in the past he failed to self reflect and didn't have the desire to grow and better himself as a person which in turn would have bettered our relationship. Throughout our time apart he very much did that, and I feel like the foundation of our relationship now is a healthy one, though it is definitely not perfect. There are other positive now that werent there before either.  

So in a way I feel as though I am practicing self love by giving the relationship the chance that I otherwise may have regretted.

But I also need to make sure to keep in touch with my emotions and be aware of how they progress or fail to progress, in a way that I need in order to have a happy sustainable future with this person..

We will see as time goes by. I know this is not the typical happy romantic love story, where everything is just perfect from the get go but as of now I am willing to see how things progress - on both our ends because I dont know how his patience will be throughout this.  That has been a bit of a struggle recently.  As far as our conflicting needs that I talked about in the beginning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now