If you’re in a relationship that seems to be falling apart around you and you’re the only one who seems to want to prevent its ultimate destruction, don’t worry, it’s never too late to save it and yes, you can do it alone!
The main reasons why relationships fail is because the needs of either one or both people aren’t satisfied. Let’s take a moment to remember the 6 Core needs – Certainty (comfort, safety, stability, security, protection); Uncertainty (variety, adventure, fun, fear, change, entertainment, surprise, crisis, drama); Significance (pride, importance, standards, achievement, performance, perfection, discipline, competition); Love and connection (insignificance, passion, unity, warmth, tenderness, desire, togetherness); Growth (education, self or spiritual development), Contribution (teaching others, volunteering, donating). Within a relationship, when you satisfy two of the needs of the other person you have a connection, if you satisfy 4 you have a strong attachment and if you satisfy all six you are permanently bonded.
So, if you want to save your marriage or relationship, set about satisfying all six needs for your partner and they’ll have no more need to go anywhere else. Remember, everyone has two needs that are greater than the others, so focus on these the most. If you’re not sure what they are, you can test them by only satisfying one need for a few days and see the response, then satisfy another for a few days until they’re all done. The need or needs that get the most gratitude will be their main ones.
Also, remember, when you’re satisfying their need for love and connection, that people can have one of 5 different love languages – physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service and quality time.
Another key to saving a relationship is communication. Remember there are better ways to communicate other than fighting. Implement the 9 keys to communication, which are: be honest, put your ego aside, adopt a ‘can do’ attitude, listen to your partner, be curious and fascinated by your partner, be empathetic, trust that your partner is doing the best they know how to, express yourself and develop common goals.
If you’ve tried all of this though and nothing changes, you’re at the end of your rope and you simply don’t know that you have the energy to try anything else, how do you decide whether you should separate or divorce? The truth is that if one person in the relationship want to end it, it’s done. But if there’s a part of both of you that doesn’t want to let go, even if there’s a whole lot of you that does, it’s worth exploring both sides. Before you decide whether to give it up altogether, there’s certain things you need to talk about. Try to come from the part of you that’s been a team in the past. Consider it two doctors coming together to see if the patient (the relationship) is going to make it. Before you do this, you must make a commitment to trying your very best and this may mean putting other areas of your life on hold so that you can free up some time and emotional energy to work through this. Here’s some things to consider:
> Do your individual life long goals enable your partner to fulfill theirs?
> Do you have shared values?
> Have you understood your partner’s love language and used it to communicate with them?
> Have you understood your partner’s core needs and satisfied them?
> Do you have things in common?
> Do you want to be together? Can you imagine the rest of your life with this person?
> Are you only staying in the relationship because you fear what might await you outside of the relationship?
> What would life look like if you did separate?
> What would life look like if you didn’t separate?
> What wouldn’t life look like if you did separate?
> What wouldn’t life look like if you didn’t separate?
> If you decided to stay together, what changes are you committed to implementing?
If you’ve been through this process and things still aren’t working, it might be time to bite the bullet. But if you notice things slowly improving, keep working on it, I’m sure it will work out for the best in the end.
Things to give thought to this week:
· How many of your partner’s Core Needs do you think you satisfy. Give yourself a rating out of 10. For example, you think you satisfy their need for significance at a rate of 6 out of 10. How can you push it up to a 10 out of 10? What is their primary core need (the one that trumps the rest)? How can you best serve this need?
· What is your partner’s Love Language? What are some ways in which you can demonstrate your love using your partner’s love language.
· How can you improve communication with your partner?
If you’re curious as to whether you’re ready to separate, ask yourself the questions above. Be honest, and be brave.