Is your partner neglecting you or your relationship?
Maybe you feel anxious and disconnected. It’s painful to think that you and your beloved may be growing apart, or falling out of love with each other.
You used to be so close and so happy together.
But now you just feel alone and sad.
If you can relate, you’ll want to keep reading to learn what you can do today to feel deeply content and at peace, even if your partner doesn’t change one bit.
But first, we’ll have to get down to the real issue, and it probably has nothing to do with what your partner is or isn’t giving you.
Humans are social beings and we need each other. We need each other for companionship, sharing love, learning together, lovemaking, giving each other a helping hand, and for physical tenderness and emotional support.
You want a hug when you’ve had a bad day and you want to be able to talk about the issues that speak to your heart with your beloved.
It’s normal to want and need your partner in these ways.
But there’s a difference between needing a loving human connection and being needy. While your partner or others would likely be happy to connect with you and help you if you were not needy, they may be repelled by neediness.
You become needy when:
When you are operating from neediness, you are avoiding painful feelings by blaming, numbing out with addictions, food, or TV, or by depending on someone else for your sense of worth. When your partner criticizes or ignores you, you fall apart emotionally, because you don’t have a solid foundation of self-regard or self-love.
This type of neediness, where you are disconnected from yourself because you are not caring for or loving yourself is what I call self-abandonment.
You think you’re unhappy because your partner isn’t giving you what you need to feel good.
You’re right that you are not getting what you need, but you are not accurate about needing your partner to make you feel good.
You are not getting what you need, because what you really need is to care for and value yourself, above all else.
Since you aren’t giving yourself the care, love, and self-regard you need, your partner can’t make you happy. As long as you are abandoning yourself, your partner’s love has nowhere to land.
The key to your personal, sustainable happiness lies within yourself.
Most people move into relationships to be loved, rather than to be loving. That’s why, when your partner doesn’t give you the love and attention you expect, you feel bad—lonely, sad, resentful, or even angry.
Since most of us did not feel loved in the way we needed as children, or our parents did not role model loving themselves, we believe that only getting love will make us feel good about ourselves.
That’s why we look for someone who we think will see us and value us, rather than learning how to see and value ourselves.
We believe that the only way we will feel worthy and lovable is when someone we value loves us.
We think, if I just find the right person who will love me the way I want to be loved, everything will finally be okay.
We think that falling in love—and staying in love—is the key to feeling good.
When our partner demonstrates their love for us, we feel relaxed, appreciated, and valued.
And when they neglect us or do or say something that feels rejecting, a kind of panic sets in. We start to worry that there’s something wrong with us, complain to ourselves about what they’re not giving us, and lament how disconnected we feel. It’s a painful, sinking feeling.
But trying to get our partner to change, or even pondering what it might be like to start a new relationship with someone who may possibly love us better, isn’t going to solve the problem.
In the beginning, you gave each other what you believe the other wanted in order to get the love you were both seeking. Eventually, however, you had to resort to controlling tactics such as compliments, judgments, withdrawal, anger, people-pleasing behavior in order to get love from your partner.
When those tactics stop working, and your partner isn’t making you happy anymore, you may decide you’ve chosen the wrong partner. You may wonder if you should move on.
But then your next relationship may also start to fall apart in much the same way. Maybe you’ve noticed this about your past relationships.
Why do people tend to experience the same kind of relationship disappointment, no matter who they fall in love with?
Because we tend to pick partners who match our level of self-abandonment.
That means that the partners we choose are also looking to get love in order to feel good about themselves. If we don’t value ourselves, we attract lovers who likewise don’t value themselves, either.
The only way out of this sad cycle is to stop self-abandoning and take responsibility for loving yourself— for defining your own worth, taking loving care of yourself, and filling yourself with love—then you’ll be filled with an abundance of love that you can then share with your partner.
That’s how you can feel deeply content and at peace, no matter what your partner is doing or not doing, because you will have a wellspring of love and regard within yourself, for yourself, always.
If you think about it, it makes so much sense that, as adults, someone else can never be the consistent source of love and validation that we all need.
No one is with you 24/7, and even if they are a caring and sensitive person, they do not live inside your body and cannot know what you feel and need, moment by moment. As much as you would like for this fantasy to be true, there is no way it can be true.
That’s why you have to learn how to give yourself the love, attention, and validation you’ve spent your entire life looking to GET from others.
Teaching this process of Inner Bonding has been the highlight of my 50 year (yes, 50!) career. I co-developed a process that shows you how to take action with regard to self love by listening to your inner guidance and taking responsibility for your feelings.
But I can’t possibly teach this process on an individual basis to every person who needs it.
That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible. Almost everyone can benefit from learning about how to take action on self love and heal the dysfunctional coping strategies such as self-abandonment.
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