Your partner not meeting your needs?


Life is gorgeously full and a consistent invitation to approach what’s important with intentionality, ease, presence, and mindfulness. For in how we carry ourselves impacts the experiences we create, and the Journey we live… It is up to us to make it a good one every day. How do you measure your daily success?

Recently, in sharing about his work Hubby made a comment that inadvertently hit home for my work with couples. He said, Effort is nice, Impact matters. Wow! How often do I hear of partners standing on their heads trying to address their relationship dissatisfaction.

And, how often do I redirect them into approaching their partner in the most targeted way that touches their heart and makes a difference. We want to put in a lot less Effort into our relationship, and a lot more meaningful interactions… This is at the crux of it…

It’s time to stop spinning your wheels, banging your head against the wall, and skirting around your issues. It’s time for a new strategy.

There are always two sides to every story. Each partner has their own experience in an interaction, and in the relationship period. And, they are BOTH valid! The problem is that partners relate intent on proving they are right, their way is the right way, or they’ve been wronged in some way…

This automatically makes their partner wrong… When we negate another’s experience, we automatically trigger Existential fears and prior trauma, relational and otherwise… And, as you probably very well know, nobody is any good once they are triggered…

Some partners live on a constant triggered state due to unresolved unfinished business, lack of relationship skills and poor personal regulation and management. They walk around with open wounds and unintentionally keep adding salt to injury.

Some partners are so used to living in this state that they don’t even realize they are not living optimally… Or, they do but are at a loss for what to do differently. They are paralyzed, stuck… Unfortunately, this has all kinds of health and success implications as well…

It is not easy in relationship to hold space for both partners’ experiences… Partners usually subscribe to the belief that they have to agree on things, most things… That they have to have things in common, most things… And, that if they don’t, they are doomed. They can’t fathom both being right, or being ok in the face of differences…

They themselves have to be “the last man standing”… It has to be their way or the highway… If the space is taken up by their partner’s experience, then they experience no room for themselves… This is an existential crisis. Hence the struggle to coexist…   

In this struggle for existential survival partners go rogue in their attempt to get their needs met, usually at the expense of their connection. They go in impulsively, reactively, narrow mindedly, like a bull in a china shop. Resulting in boundary injuries and attachment rapture. The lack of connection remains pervasive and a trigger in and of itself… And, the cycle continues…

Being stubborn in our approach, timing, focus and the like to address our experience often times backfires, and nobody wins! This is the wrong approach. We cannot put ourselves first in this way. It doesn’t work. This is not how we take care of ourselves and get our needs met…

There are two ways to meet our needs:

  • We ask our partner to meet them
  • We meet them ourselves

Some needs are more appropriate that we meet ourselves, others are more relational in nature. We have to be mindful which we assign to each category and about our expectations. Sometimes, we have to figure out how to have our relational needs met by ourselves as well, while still honoring the relationship commitment. This depends on what is going on in our relationship, and our and our partner’s personal evolution…

When a partner has no capacity to meet the other’s relational needs, the nature of the relationship is delicate and requires special attention for it to work out well and become reciprocal again. There is an ongoing ebb and flow in our relationship. The key is to ride this well.

Couples suffer when they don’t have a proper handle on this. Their expectations are reasonable, but beyond their current relationship’s scope. Partners focus on forcing a square peg into a round hole, instead of expanding the hole… We can expand the hole by appropriately taking care of ourselves, making sure our expectations fall within our partner’s current capacity, and inspiring them into reciprocity…

We inspire them by doing our own work… We cannot attempt to get our needs met by our partner until we understand their side and are able to make appropriate requests… We can only do this after we self soothe/regulate and better manage ourselves… After we clean our lens, get out of our head and stop doing relationship math, as it never adds up! And, after we get in touch with our heart…

When we resource ourselves before engaging our partner, we can stay grounded and not be threatened by their experience, their existence… We can appropriately engage for a win-win. Resourced we show up better, approach better, respond better. Resourced we make a better impact and get better results… Resourced we get the partner we desire and create the relationship we desire.

Your Assignment this week:

Part 1 – Think of a need you’d like your partner to meet. Think of why your partner might not have been meeting this need, what might be holding them back? Really think about this, make a list of all the reasons from what you might know of their perspective. If you were them, can you see how this would be challenging for them? Kick this around until you get their side…

Part 2 – Think about how to approach addressing your need with your partner, being mindful to not trigger them or request something that might feel impossible for them to give at this time. Once you have a clean and mindful approach in mind, ask your partner for a chat to discuss this.

You’ll go in with all your understanding from Part 1 and owning your side fully. No owning their side, beating them up or being controlling allowed! Respectfully and vulnerably make a request that meets your need – be creative, open-minded and flexible…

Don’t Effort in your relationship. Shoot for positive Impact instead. Create your Successful Relationship. And, that’s what matters!

Stay tuned for a new Theme in the next issue.

Share your takeaway, insights, and results by leaving a comment below! I’d love to hear how you are using this content.

Happy Impacting!



~ Some Related Issues

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Spring clean your soul

What do you need to declutter?

Detox your life and your relationship

Spring clean your relationship

Spring clean your relationship!

How do you renew yourself?



   Copyright (c) 2019 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.


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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com


About Emma

Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT has been in the mental health profession in varying capacities for the past 20+ years. She is the Founder and Director of MetroRelationship.com a psychotherapy and coaching practice specializing in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial couples who are struggling getting on the same page and feeling connected. The work helps couples create a radiant and successful relationship and meaningful life by becoming a strong partnership and increasing their connection, intimacy, and fun. Emma is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and the Successful Relationship Strategy™.

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