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Susie and Otto Collins'
Love and Relationships Tips Article

Stop Putting Your Needs Last in Your Love Relationship or Marriage
By Susie and Otto Collins

Does it ever seem like you have to choose between making yourself happy and making your partner happy in your relationship?

It might appear to you as if either you or your mate can have your needs met-- but not both of you at the same time. You might reason to yourself that this is just "compromise" or that this is what relationships are all about.

We simply don't agree. In the majority of situations, there is a way for both you and your mate to feel satisfied about a resolution to a particular conflict or disagreement.

It is absolutely possible for you AND your partner to feel like your needs are being met-- even if they are different needs.

You may have developed a habit of putting what you want on the back burner in life. This tendency might come from your desire to please your mate or to not upset the "fragile balance" between the two of you. It might also relate back to lessons about relationships or gender that you learned growing up.

The trouble with consistently and frequently putting your needs last is that you can end up feeling like a martyr in your relationship.  You put yourself in the position of essentially sacrificing yourself for the sake of your partner.

This almost always results in you feeling resentful-- even if you try to keep those feelings hidden. In addition to the resentment, you will also probably experience unhappiness and upset because you aren't giving yourself what you need.

You might believe that putting your own needs last is a favor or gift you are giving to your partner, but it's not! When you are depriving yourself by squashing down your own desires, you simply can't be as present and open to your mate as you might otherwise be able to be.

Your love will not be able to flow the way you might want it to in your relationship.

You partner will probably also feel confused and unsure of you.  After all, you aren't acting and speaking with integrity when you regularly shove aside your own opinions and desires in favor of his or hers.

This can create an environment of mistrust in which both of you are closed down and distant with one another.

Putting your own needs last is simply not conducive to you having the connected, close relationship you might have been trying to create in the first place.

Stay in touch and aware of what you want.
Get in the habit of tuning in to yourself and to what you want-- not just when it comes to "big" decisions, but in each and every moment.

When you awake in the morning, practice listening to what your inner self is needing. It could be that your body is craving some alone time involving a good book and a warm bath. Or it may be that you really need close, loving touches and physical sharing with your mate.

Take the time to ask yourself how you feel about a particular situation as you are talking with your partner. Allow yourself a few moments (or however long you need) to process what he or she is saying and feel into yourself to become clear about what you would like to have happen next.

You can let your partner know that the pauses you are taking before responding in a conversation mean that you are tuning in to yourself so that what you share is from your heart and well-considered.

Have the courage and patience to stay open.
Just because you make a change and stop putting your own needs last, it doesn't mean you will begin to offer your partner ultimatums or that you will always "get your way."

Once you are clear about what you need, you can cultivate the courage to communicate that need to your mate. And then you can stay open and be patient.

Listen closely to what your partner's needs are and don't reject them just because they seem, at first glance, to be diametrically opposed to what you want. Stick with this open and loving energy.

Look for solutions that you both can feel content with. The decision or outcome that you two make together might not be what you initially expected-- it could be even better.

If your intention is to stay connected AND have your needs met, it is more likely that those win-win solutions will become apparent.  Follow through with these need-satisfying plans and celebrate how much closer you and your partner have become in the process.

Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books on relationships, including "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No More Jealousy" "Creating Relationship Trust" "Communication Magic" and "Attracting Your Perfect Partner." In addition to having a great relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips newsletter visit or


Susie and Otto Collins
P.O. Box 14544
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 459-8121

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