How do you get your needs met? Do you silently wish your partner would do more to make you happy? Do you make loud demands of your partner? Or, do you not really know what you need?
In order to get our needs met, we have to specifically recognize what these needs are – which is harder than it sounds. Sometimes we know what it is we do not want, but we do not always know how to ask for what we really do want. Do you want your partner to give you more time, or is it really more attention you want? Do you really want to spend more time with him while he is watching a ball game? This is the difference between spending time and getting attention. Do you want your partner to be more open and receptive, or is it more physical intimacy that you want? Is the physical intimacy just sex or is it public affection, as well? Many people have an idea of what they want from their partner, but they do not always know the specifics of their needs.
Think about what you need from your partner, and then think about how you have asked for it in the past. The more specific you can be in your request, the more likely you are to get your needs met.
Advice to Men:
If you want her to spend less time at the office and more time with you, ask her if you can take her out for an early dinner twice a week. Just asking her for more time is too vague, and criticizing her job will only make her resentful. Ask for specifics and give ideas on how she can meet your needs.
Advice to Women:
If you can identify exactly what you want, then you can ask for it in a positive way. If you want him to show he cares about you, tell him how he can do that. Instead of making a vague or negative comment like, “you don’t care about me anymore,” try asking him if he would ask you questions about your day, and listen while you talk about the details of your day; give him specific details on how he can meet your needs.