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Divorce: When You’re Not Getting What You Need In Marriage


It’s a fact of life—we all have different interests, abilities, and needs.  When we have particular needs of our spouse, regardless of what those needs are, it can be disappointing and frustrating if they are left unmet.  When a person believes their partner is not attending to their needs, it can lead to blaming, accusations, and anger. That can result in divorce if people don’t learn how to effectively communicate their needs.

What You Need is What You Need 

Ok, so you feel unhappy because your spouse doesn’t help enough with the kids, or because your sexual needs differ, or because you don’t feel you’re getting enough support when it comes to conflicts with the in-laws.  Just because it’s niggling at you it doesn’t make you a bad person. On the other hand, the way you express those needs may lead your spouse to think you’re nothing more than a nag. So if you really want your marriage to work out, you’re going to have to find a way to express your needs more effectively. Think about the words and actions you are using, and the behaviors you employ when your needs aren’t met.

Beliefs and Behaviors 

To alter negative patterns of interaction, it often involves addressing one’s beliefs.  In this case, it may mean that you need to start viewing your partner as your teammate, not your enemy.  The treatment and tone of conversation you engage in should reflect that fact.

That single change in your perception can lead to important behavioral changes in you both. That’s because entering a situation with the supposition that your spouse is invested in a constructive outcome that serves both you and the relationship changes your outlook on exterior situations. It becomes  easier to overlook shortcomings that might otherwise be impossible to let go of. Discussing your needs in terms of the health of the relationship and the benefits to you both is a whole different discussion than one that pitts your needs against your partner’s. Discussions between teammates are less likely to be demanding, reproachful, or blame filled.  Instead, they’re simply conversations about ways to strengthen the relationship through caring and compromise.

 Communication is Key 

If you don’t communicate with your spouse about your needs in a positive manner, or if you expect them to read your mind and know what you need, you will likely experience a lot of heartbreak and dissatisfaction.  Our perception of the amount of effort our partners put into satisfying our needs is often on par with our perception of the amount and quality of love and concern our partner is sharing, so when we feel our needs are being sidelined, we feel like we are not loved.

Feeling unloved can lead to putting even more pressure on your spouse to meet your needs, often making more of a demand than a discussion. That is not the same thing as listening to or understanding our partner, or working toward mutual goals!  As you fight to get their needs met, your partner may begin to feel the same compulsion to get their needs met.  And every time it doesn’t work to your satisfaction, it becomes about a partner’s unwillingness to try harder. So it’s essential  to be able to express your needs in the right ways.  The failure to do so can result  in a sense of isolation, in scorekeeping across the relationship, in feelings of resentment, and in relationship failure.

When the Team Falls Apart 

If your partner seems to be on the opposing team most of the time, divorce may be the final result. The knowledgeable Boca Raton divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman are prepared to help you move forward with a divorce with an eye toward the best possible outcomes for you.  Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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