Thursday, June 12, 2014

Getting Your Needs Met in a Relationship

I come back to this helpful book again and again. It’s called, “Daring to Trust” by David Richo, and it was published in 2010. Whenever I dip into it I get a gem or a jolt --and always what I need.

Today I read this:

“Parents are expected to fulfill 100 percent of our needs in our early life, including safety and security. As adults, we learn to find need fulfillment in ourselves, in our friends, in our family, in our career, in our spiritual program, in nature and in other resources that we discover. We then do not rely on a partner, or on any person, for more than 25 percent of our need fulfillment.  This includes our need for safety and security.”

Holy Cow! “ No more than 25%”.  I definitely did not get the instruction book. But it is “progress not perfection.” Years ago I could not have read that sentence without fear. Today, reading it feels like a mid-course correction. It’s also a powerful reminder that I have to have friends, family, time in nature, work that I love, and a spiritual program so that I do not suffocate my relationship or paralyze myself.

It may be that the hardest time to grasp this 25% concept and to implement this is when a loved one is ill or disabled…but it’s still true then. Gail Sheehy writes about the need for spouses who are caregivers. At the VERY time is feels impossible it’s crucial to go toward the self.

Yes, I know. Easier said than done. But that is why I love Richo’s book. I can dip in, read a bit and self-correct. Or I can call a friend and say, “Really?”

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