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User Topic: Are emotional needs bullshit?
FoolontheHill
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Default  Posted: 4:40 AM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

. The best marriages are between 2 emotionally healthy individuals who come 2gether because they want 2 share themselves with their partner - not "complete themselves" with them.

Exactly. Well,said!


Me BH 46
WW 42

Dday 1: 10/20/2010 -- 3 month physical affair
Dday2: 7/7/2013 -- 3 year emotional affair but I think it was more.


Posts: 83 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Florida
aesir
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Default  Posted: 6:14 AM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hmm, I kinda look at the whole love language / emotional needs thing as a bit suspect.

First thing people who end up in D/S are told is to not even think about dating until they are comfortable being alone. That's comfortable being alone as in they don't need anyone else to make them happy. Two people like that who enjoy spending time together and/or have some common interests, and a general concern for each others well being as well as that of their offspring are probably going to have a better than average marriage.

Now about those love languages, lets take a look at them, although UO, StillGoing, and WAL have covered a few of them.

Here are the 5 love languages, as well as alternate interpretations of them.

Words of Affirmation - like flattery? I think most men reading this are already picturing that dreaded question of "do my genes make me look fat?"

Quality Time - Who doesn't want quality time with their spouse. This is not something that can be created, given, or planned. It is something that just happens. Quality Time really just requires time together, some of it mundane, and sometimes stuff comes up. Some of the best quality time stories I have would sound awful if I told them, like the time the guy tried to mug us, then changed his mind and tried to sell us his stolen luncheon meat, or that little motel on the side of the Trans Canada where we got stuck in a storm and slept over the sheets in our clothes, and had to run the water for 10 minutes before the shower so that it did not look like sludge. Or is this meant more in the take me out to nice places to do fun things kind of way? You know what I mean, that sense of entitlement that someone arrange for them to be treated like a little prince(ess) and entertain them like a court jester.

Gifts - as has been stated before, avarice? If a man lose his job, or needs to fix the car or buy a new furnace, loses his job, gets a bad tax audit... does he suddenly love his wife less? Does emotional availability depend on income or net worth? As far as the actual meaning behind the gifts, quite possibly as Ron White said:

The new slogan now is "Diamonds: Render her speechless." Why don't they just go ahead and say it? "Diamonds: That'll shut her up... for a minute."

Acts of Service - sloth? Are you marrying a partner or hiring domestic staff? In the long run a maid and a gardener are cheaper, and easier to replace when they displease you. Not to mention all the ways this could be anything but love. quite possibly just a codependant attempt to keep the peace. Pretty sure if I said "Make me a sammich bitch" and one actually arrives unpoisoned it is an expression of fear, not love.

Physical Touch - Well, without this, however well you get along, you are pretty much roommates who like to hang out. Then there is the question of the disabled, would we suggest that some illnesses like ALS render people incapable of love? I also know quite a few people that are willing to provide all the physical touch anyone could want, with absolutely no emotional involvement at all.

A healthy relationship would involve a healthy mix of all of these things, with none of them meant as a big display symbolic of love. Hell, a chocolate bar or bag of chips on the way home to watch a movie could be seen as a gift, or act of service so you don't have to get it your damn self, or as an affirmation that I was just thinking of you while I was at the gas station. Flowers on the other hand always seem to say "Here's a dead plant, lets fuck."

What really matters is thinking of, and treating your partner with respect. If you can manage that, then as long as your partner is healthy, there will be a sufficient flow of all the other things listed.

Maybe later on I will take on some of the flaws in the Love Bank theory, but it's too early in the morning to be posting such deep thoughts.

[This message edited by aesir at 6:16 AM, August 17th (Saturday)]


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
wincing_at_light
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Default  Posted: 7:23 AM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Flowers on the other hand always seem to say "Here's a dead plant, lets fuck."

That is awesome.


Machiavellian idiot savant

Posts: 6750 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Indiana
2long
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Default  Posted: 8:40 AM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"Maybe later on I will take on some of the flaws in the Love Bank theory, but it's too early in the morning to be posting such deep thoughts."

YOu did pretty good! Better than I can, even after coffee!


Posts: 20 | Registered: May 2006 | From: So. Cal
ladies_first
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Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The best marriages are between 2 emotionally healthy individuals who come 2gether because they want 2 share themselves with their partner - not "complete themselves" with them.

Agreed! When things are good, and healthy, we just merrily roll along. More positives than negatives.
Is it all really that complicated? I know what he likes because I ask. I care. I'm honestly interested. He knows what I like for the same reasons. Isn't that what the whole thing is about? Being interested and caring? If that is absent how is some relationship Rosetta Stone gonna help that?
I've learned all sorts of new uses for words I thought were pretty defined...comfort, gift, love language. In the back ground Princess Bride is playing on loop. "You" keep using those words but I don't think they mean what "you" think they do.

It's when the caring fades, and you don't feel seen or heard by your partner, and you still love the hell out of them. How do explore what's missing, i.e., find a common language, without blaming, rejecting and becoming defensive.



"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
uncertainone
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Default  Posted: 11:27 AM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's when the caring fades, and you don't feel seen or heard by your partner, and you still love the hell out of them. How do explore what's missing, i.e., find a common language, without blaming, rejecting and becoming defensive.

Caring fades...still love the hell out of them. One of these things is not like the other. 

I honestly believe that the first step has to be a true self inventory. I use women in my examples because I am one and most of my interaction with friends and co-workers are with women. Some women have a pretty myopic view of communication. They can repeat a conversation verbatim with details such as lighting and ambient temperature at time of occurence yet leaving out key pieces like the entire conversation started with their critique of "you're such a piece of shit". 

While the above example is extreme it seriously baffles me how some can be so incredibly sensitive to how others treat them but just clueless of how they treat others. Like emotional savants. 

I'm not stating all cases, nor is it gender specific. I'm simply stating if people start their Siskel and Ebert process internally first they may have a different perception and therefore perspective.

I worked for a guy when I got back into the work force. Very quiet. Not fond of conflicts and would become quite uncomfortable when having to deal with tough interactions with employees so that was pretty much left up to me.

Sat next to his wife at a company event. She came into the marriage with 4 daughters one special needs. They had one son together. She bitched the entire time of how EU he was and how he never validated her. 

He has every picture those kids (theirs and hers) ever drew on his office walls, brought the kids to work on Saturdays if we had projects to give her a break. He was amazing with the one with special needs. Talked about how smart his wife was and encouraged her getting her degree even though it meant he drove kids to school before work, had to leave early if they were sick, cable needed repair whatever. 

By the end of the event I wanted to kill her with a fork (ah, Grosse Point Blank...flawless). 

She sighed and said, "guess he's just a typical man". "OR maybe you're just a bitch...so there's that". Never talked to me much after that. I felt I was kind after being ear raped for about 1 1/2 hours...she disagreed. See? I was being myopic.

Sigh. I know it's never that simplistic but I do think sometimes we create problems when they aren't there...no matter how hard we look for them.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 12:52 PM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Bravo, UO, bravo. I get reamed by my friends sometimes because when they tell me stories where they were *unfairly* persecuted and neglect to touch on the details that might show them in a negative light, I tend to call them out on it.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
sisoon
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Default  Posted: 12:56 PM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

First thing people who end up in D/S are told is to not even think about dating until they are comfortable being alone.

Well, hell ... people shouldn't get M until they're comfortable being alone with themselves....

IMO (and I'm not alone), virtually all of us want to be loved by and to love another person (perhaps 'at least one other person'). I'm comfortable calling these 'emotional needs', and there's no way I'd call them 'bullshit'.

In my conception, 'love' is not transactional at its base, but it often appears to manifest itself transactionally.

I get very positive responses from doing dishes or laundry or bringing home a gift - but I do those things to express love, not to get the responses, however much I enjoy them.

I use the love language stuff because I expect my W is more likely to notice an act of service as an expression of love than, say a physical stroke.

My W expresses love by putting a lot of effort into acts of service, but they never meant much to me until I learned that's her primary LL. Now I experience an AoS as love - but she does more physical stroking than before, and that's my primary LL.

Eric Berne argued - and studies seem to show - that people need to get and give strokes. Call that 'physical need' if you want, but I call that 'emotional need'.

At least in some ways, I love my W 1) because I like being with her, even if all we're doing is breathing together, 2) because she accepts and likes what I offer, and 3) I accept and like what she offers. I suspect that the 2nd is more important than the 3rd, and that the 1st is most important of all.

I feel stroke-deprived if W doesn't express enough love, and that's transactional, of course. At those times, a storke or an AoS or a gift does remind me she loves me.

I just don't have the word to fit that fact into my post....

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:02 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10440 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just dropping in briefly, as a member.

I personally don't think emotional needs are bullshit. At the same time I am realistic about these needs. To me, it's about scope. The emotional needs that I have for my wife fit within the scope of our relationship. According to the Chapman survey, my biggest emotional need is "quality time". To me, that makes perfect sense. If I do not get any quality time within the scope of my relationship with my wife, I really don't see a reason for our relationship to continue. The need is easily met, too. Quality time can be sitting on the couch reading our books, or chatting while we have a smoke in the garage (bad habit, I know, but we bond over it).

Getting back to the concept of scope. I work in the software industry, and scope is a common theme. First, you have the scope of the corporation as a whole, and within that corporation there are multiple systems that have their own scope, and within those systems are multiple programs, and within those programs there are multiple code modules, and within those multiple code modules there are functions, methods, classes and procedures... it can all be broken down to the point where it becomes 0's and 1's at the binary level.

Drawing from that analogy, if I view myself and my life as a corporation, ultimately made up of bits and bytes, my life can be broken down into multiple systems, one of those being my marriage. In order for my marriage system to work, there is a requirement of having quality time, and also feeding and maintaining the system with my wife's emotional needs and requirements. This is a major system within my life. If these needs aren't met, and the system fails, and I have to shut it down, does my life/corporation end?

No, it doesn't. But it sure runs a lot more profitably when that system is in it place and running nicely.

Long story short, my emotional needs fit within the scope of the relationship that I have with my wife. I also fully realize that I can live/go on without these needs being met by her, if it ever came to that.

Sorry to get a bit abstract. Hopefully I made some sort of sense.


Posts: 7646 | Registered: Dec 2010
aesir
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Default  Posted: 2:41 PM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Eric Berne argued - and studies seem to show - that people need to get and give strokes. Call that 'physical need' if you want, but I call that 'emotional need'.

No doubt in my mind, studies have shown that physical contact, ranging from a hug to an orgasm, do release neuro-chemicals that alter moods, generally in positive ways, though if one finds the contact repellant due to the nature of either the type of or person performing the contact, the effect will not be positive.

I get very positive responses from doing dishes or laundry or bringing home a gift - but I do those things to express love, not to get the responses, however much I enjoy them.

I do dishes or laundry because I need clean clothes and dishes. Something about living too close to nature and all it's filth bothers me. Kinda goes along with this, from the Big Bang Theory.
Sheldon Cooper: If outside is so good, why has mankind spent thousands of years trying to perfect inside?

I use the love language stuff because I expect my W is more likely to notice an act of service as an expression of love than, say a physical stroke.

My W expresses love by putting a lot of effort into acts of service, but they never meant much to me until I learned that's her primary LL. Now I experience an AoS as love - but she does more physical stroking than before, and that's my primary LL.


Excellent example to illustrate. I noticed long ago that I was far more likely to give my STBX a backrub if I was feeling sore myself. Perhaps knowing the primary love languages is really about recognizing the internal emotional weaknesses in oneself and ones partner. Maybe love does require compatible weaknesses? Ideally, if you respect your partner, their abilities, and their limitations, you can recognize the love that exists in whatever form it manifests, and not insist that there is a problem because it is not (as in the oranges example previously) in the preferred form. Sometimes love even consists of refraining from some of these. Refraining from acts of service one would really like to perform are a sign of love when it is something that a person needs to do for themselves, any parent who has watched a child struggle with something (like long division, if they still do that in school) where we could easily do it for them in seconds would understand this. The alleged value of any of these actions or things is also very situational. After a hard day when all the muscles are sore, a spontaneous backrub means the world, but after a long and tedious day it can be quite annoying as it prevents one from sleeping. The greatest gift I ever gave, one I shall likely never have the opportunity to duplicate (unless I am a genetic match for someone and they need an organ) was so highly situational, and would be completely worthless at any other time. It was early in our relationship, and I was a student, but one who knew where I wanted things to go. We just finished checking out at the grocery store, and walked past the gumball machines. One was filled with the cheap plastic toys, and I noticed a ring was inside. Thinking that I was broke, but she deserved a ring, I reached into my pockets and pulled out my very last dollar, called her over to the machine, and said something about deserving a ring and seeing what fate thought, I turned the handle, and out dropped a red plastic ring, with a clear bubble about an inch and a half across containing one of those shake the steel balls into the holes games. How does one beat that? And yet, if I were to ever do that again, the circumstances would make it meaningless. If I were to give one of those now and say I thought you deserved a ring, I would expect to get slapped.

At least in some ways, I love my W 1) because I like being with her, even if all we're doing is breathing together, 2) because she accepts and likes what I offer, and 3) I accept and like what she offers. I suspect that the 2nd is more important than the 3rd, and that the 1st is most important of all.

I think all of these are summed up by enjoying each others company, and thinking of and treating each other with respect. Might even go so far as to say that in such a nasty world, if you find a respectable person that thinks of and treats you with respect, you will enjoy their company.

All this talk of love languages is inevitably tied into the theory of the love bank. Another one that I find problematic. It's a nice neat simplistic way of describing a concept, but it has some really big holes in it. I would compare my thoughts on it to Heinlein's quote about the labor theory of value: "All the work one cares to add will not turn a mud pie into an apple tart..." The first questioning of the love bank theory I heard was from an accountant, which really got me thinking about it. Bank accounts are easy to track, you make deposits, withdrawals, pay bills, and can check the balance online, or get a regular statement, and if you have good credit history might even be allowed an overdraft. Banks will never refuse deposits, and the effects of making identical deposits are cumulative. Love doesn't work that way. If I bring home a chocolate bar as a gift, it may get me an appreciative kiss, but bringing home a whole halloween bag of the same chocolate bar, or even a pallet, does not automatically translate into blow jobs.

Not that there is an inherent problem with trying to adapt economic theory (which I consider to be more mass psychology than anything else) to love, but economic theory is far more complex than the zero sum game described in the love bank. It is more like a love investment portfolio, and you transfer in anything you can that you think has value, without knowing the current market rates, transfer out what you need under the same conditions, the statements are sent out quarterly to the wrong address, the market swings wildly, if at any time you cross a negative threshold you are barred from the market, and sometimes a third party will steal your investments via identity theft, or manipulate the market to your detriment with insider trading or short sales.


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
noescape
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Default  Posted: 4:17 PM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Excellent posts Aesir, well done sir, well done.


This should be stickied for newbies since a lot of us initially got dragged into the 'unmet needs' rabbit hole right on/after DDay and started work on that while the entire A and the brokenness of waywardness itself was conveniently rugswept.

some can be so incredibly sensitive to how others treat them but just clueless of how they treat others

what UO said ^^^ wow, just hit too close to home with that

and you probably nailed the typical WS case of where this LL/EN stuff is thrown about the most; "s/he didnt validate me, s/he was not affectionate, etc.. etc..."

sometimes we create problems when they aren't there...no matter how hard we look for them

Isn't that the usual WS thought process though? (and I mention this to keep in mind that we're on a infidelity forum and not just any marriage advise site).

That justifications are needed prior to and during the A and the 'problems' are found/manufactured to suit the mindset; only to be 'grown' during the A. I know that my W had attachment issues all along, she was already working on an 'exit strategy' at the start of every relationship she had been in; trust/FOO/ etc.. issues. So it isn't much of a stretch that her focus after the initial 'dating/honeymoon' stage was to manufacture problems.

I think that the EN/LL constructs are, as Aesir just described them, pretty much the staple of any normal and healthy relationship without having them to be singled out as "NEEDs". IMHO, and this is not to cause umbrage to others here, they usually cater to those who haven't had healthy relationship modeling or are incapable of basic trust/vulnerability and give/take of relationship dynamics. And though it may seem to be transactional in nature; closer inspection always goes back to the "the one who is most likely to cheat is the one who invested the least in the relationship"

eta: typos... also just saw losfers and aesirs new posts :)

[This message edited by noescape at 4:24 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]


Posts: 739 | Registered: Feb 2012
JanaGreen
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Default  Posted: 12:38 AM, August 18th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Re: sensitive to how others treat them, clueless as to how they treat others -

My H shuts down when there is conflict between us. Goes stony. I understand now that it is very upsetting to him. Early in our marriage I took the stone wall to mean he had no feelings. Said so many awful things trying for a reaction. I really thought he had no feelings and thus could not be hurt. I was wrong. I was an ass. I know that now.

I guess the ear-raper neverlearned.


We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6835 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
ladies_first
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Default  Posted: 9:44 AM, August 18th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Many,many thanks for wincing_at_light's post today on another thread:

I don't believe most men are emotionally unavailable. I think we speak a different emotional dialect, certainly -- and one that all men seem to understand in our own interactions, but it's not like we don't feel what we feel or are incapable of recognizing and respecting our own feelings.

The problem is that our society has crafted a message that the feminine emotional dialect is "more valid", to the extent that men spend a great deal more time developing expertise in reading and understanding women's emotions than women have invested in understanding men.

Instead, our dialect is frequently invalidated -- and must of us learn the appropriate boundary that if our emotional dialect isn't going to be respected, it's healthier not to share those emotions with someone who will insist that we're "doing it wrong".

Men seem to have no issue communicating with safe partners who respect their emotional life.

My experience has been that in most situations where there's an emotionally unavailable man, he's married to an emotionally abusive woman. ...

I can't express to you how thankful I am that part of my wife's self-directed recovery was making an effort to understand me and how I relate rather than expecting me to live up to a script that I never got to read.

She's pretty amazing, my wife. She's at work this morning, and I can't wait to see her this afternoon when she gets home -- and I don't just say that because I'm trying to keep a 5 y.o. and a 2 y.o. occupied until the grass dries out enough to take them outside.

She's the first person I want to talk to about my day. She's my best source of advice and input. She's the best person (outside of me) at understanding who I am.

Seven years ago, she would have described me as emotionally unavailable -- largely because she wasn't seeing *me*. She was was seeing the cardboard cutout of me who too often went off-script, then assigning her own motives to me for not complying. She would say to me, "You never talk to me! Why can't we just talk!"

And then not give me any clues about what she wanted to talk about, because it seemed to me that we talked all the time. We didn't talk about the "right" things, but she couldn't articulate what those things were.

Life is so much better now that we hear each other and value both what one another have to say and the emotional experience behind it.

That last part -- finding a loving way to relate -- before the relationship gets too far off track.

Think of it as both parties having to move 25 degrees toward center (with center being an intimate relationship). Not the radical 180 described here AFTER one partner has at least one foot out the door.


"We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~J. Campbell
"In the final analysis, it is your own attitude that will make or break you, not what has happened to you." ~D. Galloway

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jun 2009
JanaGreen
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Default  Posted: 9:57 AM, August 18th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great post WAL. I wish I had understood that at 23.


We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6835 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
wincing_at_light
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Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, August 18th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hell, Jana, I wish we'd understood it at 33. You're a decade ahead of schedule.


Machiavellian idiot savant

Posts: 6750 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Indiana
sisoon
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Default  Posted: 2:07 PM, August 18th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I do dishes or laundry because I need clean clothes and dishes.

Well, yeah, that more than anything.

Maybe love does require compatible weaknesses?

When I hooked myself on W2B, one of her best friends was also incredibly attractive to me. My mind kept gravitating towards W2B, so that's who I chose, but I did a lot of Devil's advocacy internally. There were a number of reasons I gravitated to W2B (looks, background, etc.), but I believe the single most important explanation was that I thought my own neuroses were probably more compatible with W2B's than with her friend's.... (It was 1965, after all, and Freud was still King.)

Ideally, if you respect your partner, their abilities, and their limitations, you can recognize the love that exists in whatever form it manifests, and not insist that there is a problem because it is not in the preferred form.

Agreed.

When a person is getting fewer strokes than wanted/needed, though, it's a good idea for that person to ask for them while being prepared to self-soothe, if external help isn't forthcoming.

Berne (or at least one of his followers) talks about a metaphorical 'stroke bank', which I think is the same as the 'love bank'. Perhaps the problem starts when a person sees the stroke/love bank as a real thing instead of as a metaphor. Or perhaps a problem starts when a person forgets that self-soothing is more powerful than external validation in most contexts.

I'll tell you, I'm much better off now not getting a back rub but knowing that I want one and 'deserve' one than I was years ago, when I could get back rubs but didn't think I deserved them. Now I can self-soothe by, perhaps, imagining a back rub and taking it in. Then, I couldn't appreciate/take in what I was getting. (And not so incidentally, one of the ways of describing why my W cheated is to say she couldn't take in the love that was given to her by me and by her friends.)

Sometimes love even consists of refraining from some of these. Refraining from acts of service one would really like to perform are a sign of love when it is something that a person needs to do for themselves....

Absolutely. In recovering from infidelity, rooting out my willingness to rescue my W has been critical to my healing and to hers (to the extent we've healed, that is). So has rooting out my desire and hers to be rescued.

Ask for what you want. And if you're asked for help, remember you can (almost) always say 'No'.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10440 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
silverhopes
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Default  Posted: 5:04 PM, August 19th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Had one more thought on emotional needs - specifically on Dr. Harley's checklist. Yes, checklist. Because it's a checklist of things to do to keep the other happy, it comes across as making love very, very conditional. You can see it very clearly with the "physical attractiveness" example. Everyone has their own idea of what physical attractiveness is - sometimes it's very broad, sometimes specific, maybe it changes. But suppose a person's idea of attractiveness is what you see in models, porn stars, actors and actresses. What if it's in youth. Aging is the one thing we have no control over. Every second we're getting older. And suppose your spouse's definition of physical attractiveness includes youthfulness. So when we naturally get older, they stop "loving" us for not meeting this need. Very, very conditional love. It robs the security of knowing that your partner will love you just as your vows say: "For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health..." Does it include "for younger or for older"? Maybe not in those words, but it surely means that, doesn't it? Maybe they should start including them as a standard.

It can almost be more soothing to ask, instead of "how can you love me?" - "how can I love you?" Our love for others is the only thing we have control over when it comes to "emotional needs".


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3913 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
BrokenRoad
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Default  Posted: 3:28 PM, August 22nd (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't think it's whether or not emotional needs are valid or if they are NEEDs as opposed to something else.

I think the point of marriage is that you find out what the other person wants/needs to feel happy and loved and you work hard to give that to them. And they in return work hard to give you what you need/want. It's that "living for the others person" that creates the love and keeps it going. If one or both fails to do that, it becomes a vicious cycle of anger and resentment.

Also, labeling it as a need or not a need just minimizes that it is what she is asking for to feel loved. It's like saying, you're crazy for wanting what you want and you should not want that.

Sure we all want to be healthy emotionally, but to be honest, we promised to marry for better or for worse and it includes emotional baggage on both sides.

I would add that we must learn each others wants and needs, love languages, and use that knowledge to fill the bank. And then TELL THEM what we want because they will forget now and then, what it is you would like too. No one is a mind reader and to be really honest, most of the time we are thinking only of ourselves.

Or am I the only one?


{Him}FBH - 43 (WifeHad5)
{Me} FWW - 44
2 kids 7 & 12
Reconciled :)
Beauty and folly are old companions.--Benjamin Franklin

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Default  Posted: 9:50 AM, April 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Here’s the point. If my wife had asked me at any point what kinds of things she did that I appreciated, or what kinds of things I wanted her to do more of or less of in our relationship, or what kinds of things she could do that would communicate her love to me, I could have given her a number of answers. But if she had asked me what I needed from her in order to feel loved by her, I would have looked at her like she had three heads.

Scratches head ...


Peace

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Default  Posted: 10:13 AM, April 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was just thinking about this thread the other day....such a good conversation. Lots of interesting points.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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