Sunday, April 30, 2006

 

Getting Your Needs Met MUST Be a HIGH Priority

You have a responsibility to yourself to get your needs met in your love relationship. If someone is doing something that is unacceptable, something that you cannot tolerate, you have an obligation to yourself to make a choice in the matter.

The degree of unacceptability isn't a consideration. How much you love someone shouldn't be a consideration. If it is unacceptable, that's it!

If you love them, you love them. You will always have a relationship with them regardless of the choice you make to get your needs met.

When someone is doing something that is unacceptable, you compromise your own personal integrity if you are not true to yourself. The choice you make will always have consequences, some we call good; some we call bad.

While the following example may be a non-issue for you, it can be and has been an issue for several of my relationship coaching clients.

"If you love someone unconditionally, how can you walk away from the relationship because they smoke?" Because smoking is unacceptable behavior, period! "Then your love must be conditional!" Hardly. Making a choice about getting your needs met has nothing to do with love. The distinction that must be made is the distinction between love and the choice of getting your needs met.

The problem most people have with this scenario is that the level of unacceptability gets in the way of their understanding. If smoking is unacceptable behavior to the person who is walking away and it isn't unacceptable behavior to the person who asks the question, then the only problem is that the degree of unacceptability becomes the issue, not getting your needs met.

When you make the choice to get your needs met, and the choice is to walk away, you have only made a choice about getting your needs met, not whether you love someone conditionally or unconditionally. It is a healthy choice.

It is possible to love someone unconditionally and still make a choice not to be with them in a committed relationship because you believe that something they do is unacceptable to you.

It is also a demonstration of your unconditional love to allow that person to continue whatever behavior is unacceptable to you and then choose not to be in the relationship. It's not a matter of placing a condition on your love for that person. It's a matter of choice; the choice to be true to yourself and have your needs met or not.

When you love someone. . . you love them. Making a choice not to be in the relationship because you find their behavior unacceptable is only and always about choice. And there are consequences. When you love someone and you choose to walk away, you are only talking about the choice to get your needs met, not about love.

Anyone who can't understand how someone could do that, obviously is only thinking of themselves; they are only comparing the level of unacceptability with something they find unacceptable. Not a good idea. They are only speaking for themselves.

We need to understand that what is acceptable to some might be unacceptable to someone else.

To stay in a committed relationship when you know that unacceptable behavior is going on can never be a healthy love relationship and the issue will always be a point on contention.

Comments:
My thinking is different from yours. I believe if you love someone then it is like you are accepting that person with his qualities as well as disqualities. And leaving my partner just because he smokes or has a short temper.... NO?
Same is applicable on me, he can also leave me for any of my bad habit.
I believe that a lover comes with a package of good and bad qualities and habits and if you love someone then its not a big deal to accept him like the way he is.
I read somewhere true love is accepting the way your lover is.
 
I am struggling with this issue on a spiritual level. I was married to a so-called Christian pastor who simply walked out of our marriage one day. One day I was happily married and the next day he was *poof* gone. He refused to ever discuss his reasons, refused to try to explain, refused to make any attempt to try to reconcile (which is the biblical thing to do), and simply would not attend counseling.

To my way of understanding, marriage is meant to symbolize on earth Christ's committment to the Church. I am not trying to convert anyone, in fact far from it... But IF one subscribes to this particular belief system, you don't just walk out on a marriage! Each person (meaning BOTH) getting needs met, yes is important... cite His Needs, Her Needs ...but adults learn to compromise, dance the dance, balance things out.

Well, one would think so, anyway.

If he had bothered to talk to me that he wasn't getting his needs met, then fine, I could have worked with that, but he never said a word and never gave me a chance to make corrections... IF that was the case. But who knows? I have since learned that he walked out the same way on others before me and is now on the internet hunting for next victim.

When you say you are committed to someone in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, til death do you part, you better MEAN IT and be sure you have the strength of your own convictions to work it out, or else DON'T MAKE PROMISES YOU DON'T INTEND TO KEEP...because if you do, you are simply a cruel, heartless liar, and yes that goes for Christian pastors, too.
 
Larry, you wrote, "To stay in a committed relationship when you know that unacceptable behavior is going on can never be a healthy love relationship and the issue will always be a point on contention."

That is a pretty finite and absolute choice range you offer there. I have to automatically reject the logic of any statement that contains the words "never" or "always". Yours contains both.

You seem to be forgetting that humans are capable of learning - if they are informed that some behavior is unacceptable - and are capable of making the choice to modify their behavior if they value the relationship with the other person more than the unacceptable behavior.

If they value the behavior more and refuse to change or if no compromise can be reached, then maybe it is a good idea to quit the relationship.

My SO has a habit of leaving his socks where ever... all over the house... I have asked him to use the laundry hamper, and from time to time that happens. Socks decor is unacceptable to me. Not so unacceptable that I am willing to sacrifice our friendship and our relationship over it. On my part, raising my voice is unacceptable to him, so I try not to do that. Sometimes I do raise my voice.

Funny thing, we came into this relationship as two completely flawed individuals with bad habits that are unbecoming to one another, but we like each other anyway.

I was not given any choice to create my own perfect SO person, and as far as I know, neither was he, so we had decide to take what we got in each other and then agree to work hard and to communicate non-violently to make our relationship the very best it can be.

While not discarding the fact that some boundaries in relationship are healthy, such as absolute refusal to put up with adultery or physical abuse...For General Purposes, until such time as we as mortal humans DO have the ability to create our very own perfect Significant Other Person, I think the wiser course of action than drawing the line in absolutes, is that we need to learn to accept and tolerate each other's imperfections and communicate our preferences in a productive manner, to help each other to grow closer, rather than maintain the threat to leave. If we can't do that we should remain isolated and alone, because here's a newsflash for you: NOBODY is gonna be perfect all the time.

Every relationship involves some degree of give and take and there are a lot of fluctuating and evolving gray areas of tolerance for what is unacceptable.
 
Larry, according to your point of view "The degree of unacceptability isn't a consideration. How much you love someone shouldn't be a consideration. If it is unacceptable, that's it!"

I think this is unacceptable to me. You know LOVE is ...... It is a very strong feeling. Mind it we are talking about our lover and not about some acquitance. Of course, in fact my actions are regulated and controlled by my feeling towards the person. If I love someone then I can give that person a lot of discounts but may be it would be different if that person is my colleague or an acquintance.
 
Larry, what happened it's been long when you last published a posting in your blog.
I really like your way of writing. Looking forward for an exciting article soon.
 
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