When your spouse says “you’re not doing this and that, and you’re not meeting my needs,” it’s very hard to hear.
The statement might be unfair. The perception may be based on misunderstandings. Our defence mechanism might kick in.
We answer, “I’m doing this and that. You’re not seeing it right.”
Or “I’m not doing this and that, but I’m doing all these other things.”
Or “What about my needs? Here is the list of my needs you’re not meeting too.”
Or “marriage is a compromise. Get over it.”
While those statements may be true, it’s not about that, is it.
Let me show this to you this way.
If your friend told you that their spouse is not meeting their needs. Would you say these things? Or would you say “that sucks. It must be so frustrating.”
We are so so hard on the ones that are closest to us. We almost… demand perfection. No, we do.
We really only want to be supported and validated, don’t we? That’s our “needs,” isn’t it?
So, next time a spouse complains or even lays an unfair blame, I hope we could get past how incredibly personal and hurtful the blame is, get a hold of our survival instinct, and consider validating their feelings.
“I am hearing what you’re saying. It must have been really hard going on feeling like your needs are neglected.”
Because the thing is this. If we felt neglected, someone telling us we aren’t neglected doesn’t help, does it. Because it neglects how we are feeling this moment.