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What To Do If Your Partner Can’t Meet Your Emotional Needs?

Does Your Partner Meet Your Emotional Needs?

A healthy relationship is supported by two pillars, with trust being the foundation. If the foundation cracks, the pillars will fall and take the relationship down. 

You guessed it! The two pillars are you and your partner.

To build the foundation of trust, the two partners need to feel secure and cherished AND meet each other’s needs.

But how do you communicate your needs without feeling like you’re being needy or pushy, and keep the relationship standing? 

When your partner does not meet your emotional needs

Your partner is your support. You rely on them for your needs – emotional, physical, and maybe even spiritual. Yet, you feel like they are not there for you. There are many things to consider here. Are you expressing your needs clearly? If yes, have you spoken to your partner about why they are unable to meet your needs? Sometimes an honest conversation is the solution. But as you may already guess, there are certain things your partner cannot do for you. That’s when you have to take care of yourself. It is also possible that you two are incompatible. But that is a discussion for another article. 

Can a relationship survive without emotional support?

Both the emotional needs of a woman and a man are important when it comes to relationships. 

However, do you feel like the only one who is making an effort?

Before you get exhausted from giving too much, here is a reminder of the things you need emotionally:

10 emotional needs of a woman

Everybody, gender & sexuality no bar, has these basic emotional needs: 

  • Feeling heard and understood
  • Being supported and appreciated
  • Sharing and receiving attention
  • Physical and psychological safety
  • Feeling purposeful
  • Experiencing connection and a sense of community
  • Expressing intimacy and vulnerability
  • Respect
  • Prestige
  • Being wanted or desired

Imagine being ignored, disrespected, and humiliated at work.

When you come home you will want to talk to your loved ones about it.

But what if your partner doesn’t listen to you?

That might break your heart. If we cannot seek the support of those we love who do we go to?

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Signs your emotional needs aren’t being met

Emotions are not just a means to communicate. They are energy in motion – energy that needs to be processed, digested, and released.

All the bad things that happened during the day can sound like an adventure when you recount it to someone else. 

That positive spin occurs when your partner listens to you without judgment.

When you talk about your problems, the strong emotions etched into them loosen and are slowly released.

This frees up space in your mind to look at what happened objectively.

If this basic necessity of being heard is not fulfilled, you might feel irritable and even sad.

Here are other signs that your emotional needs are not being met: 

  • You often feel angry, annoyed, or frustrated
  • Resentment and sadness trouble you from time to time
  • You tend to isolate yourself or avoid social gatherings
  • Coming home feels weird or uncomfortable
  • You fight or argue a lot with your partner
  • There is not much value in the relationship for you

These are the telling signs that your needs aren’t being met.

So how can you make your partner understand your emotional needs?

Should your partner meet your emotional needs?

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Your emotional needs are just as important as your partner’s.

Sometimes the dynamics will change. There will be days when you want to be strong for your partner and days when you’ll need their support.  

In this manner, a healthy relationship is about looking out for each other while fulfilling each other.

But to expect your partner to meet your EVERY emotional need is setting up for failure!

By completely relying on your partner, you’re kinda burdening them while shirking off your own responsibility. 

Emotional needs you need to meet on your own

No one has or should have the sole power to make you happy. The first person accountable for your mental and emotional well-being is you.

You cannot expect someone else to satisfy your basic needs. Yes, a partnership thrives on support and the sharing of love.

But can you truly make someone else happy if you are unhappy?

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Here are the needs you need to fulfill on your own:

  • Self-confidence
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Self-love and acceptance
  • Motivation and inspiration
  • Self-reliance

If you’re looking after these needs but still feel something’s lacking, your partner may probably not understand how to meet your other needs, or maybe even you don’t understand your needs well!

What to do when your partner isn’t emotionally intelligent?

What are the real reasons behind your emotional struggles?

Saying your partner is not “emotionally intelligent” may be too extreme.

Your partner could be, say, negligent of your emotional needs. That’s much better!

This negligence may be an outcome of ignorance and not malevolence. If things are rocky right now, these tips can sail your ship over the tides:

Find out what your needs are

Identifying your needs is the first step. 

Let’s say you sit your partner down to talk about your emotional needs.

What will you talk about? If you don’t understand your needs properly, your partner will not either. 

On the contrary, you might confuse your partner or worse, frustrate them!

It’s best to take some time to ponder what your emotional requirements are. Is it security, autonomy, attention, or something else?  

Communicate your needs clearly

Maybe you don’t know how to communicate your needs without feeling needy.

Here’s the thing: sounding “needy” should not hold you back from talking about your emotional desires. 

As long as you are honest and genuinely speaking your truth, your partner will hopefully listen to you. 

On the other extreme, maybe you don’t communicate your needs because you expect your partner to know what you want.

“If they love me, they should always know what I need.” – said no happy couple ever!

Remind your partner about what you expect from them routinely.

Provide suggestions

After you make your partner understand your emotional needs, don’t keep them hanging!

Share more details about how you feel so they can think of ways to meet your needs.

In fact, you may also offer your suggestions, helping them in meeting your needs. 

Dedicate time together

Now and then, get together with your partner to share your feelings.

Listen without interrupting each other.

The intimacy you’ll share in these sessions will make your bond stronger, and also work as a reminder of your needs.

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Look outside the relationship

Your partner can do a lot for you, but not everything.

Sometimes you will have to look for validation elsewhere.

Take conversations about your profession, for example. Perhaps your partner is completely clueless about the work you do.

So, instead of catching him up to speed isn’t it better to talk about work with your colleagues instead? 

It’s NOT your work

Lend all the support and encouragement your partner needs, but understand it’s not your responsibility.

To experience and express emotions, in a healthy way, your partner must do their own inner work.

Let them focus on their inner work, while you focus on yours.

Tell me, how would it be if you had ALL the necessary skills to discover yourself?

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Conclusion

  • Signs your needs aren’t being met: Feeling angry, resentful, and isolated in your relationship are some signs that your needs are not being met.
  • How to make your husband/partner understand your emotional needs: First, identify what you need, then communicate them to your partner. For some needs, it’s okay to look outside your relationship.
  • How to communicate your needs without being needy: Be honest about your feelings, and share them as truly as possible, without getting overwhelmed by them.

Hopefully, this article gave you useful insights on how to make your partner understand your emotional needs.   

What is the strongest emotional need your partner needs to satisfy? How do you communicate your needs without being needy?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

P.S. Even high-achieving individuals can struggle with emotions. Find out more in 6 Key Habits To Transform 2024: For High Achieving Women Struggling With Emotions.

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