Communicating Needs

Nov 19, 2014 by

meeting needs


Recently Jerolyn and I were driving home from Tahoe area. We live in Sacramento so we are relatively close to Tahoe, but it is a significant elevation and climate change.

When we headed home, it was quite cool in Tahoe but sunny. We hopped in the van, and I had on a windbreaker. Knowing my warm body temperature I should have taken off the windbreaker but thought it was cool enough to leave on as we headed out. Jerolyn is a bit more cold natured than me, so she was bundled up a little bit more.

As we started down the mountain, the temperature began to warm along with the sun shining into our vehicle. I began to get warm, so I opened the window to try to cool a bit before attempting to take off the windbreaker. Jerolyn was still cold so she turned up the heat on her side in the van. The higher she cranked the heat, the hotter I became and the more I opened my window. The more I opened the window, the colder she got and the higher she turned the temp and the blower. You get the picture. We were not trying to freeze or burn the other one out; it was just the way it was based on our body temps.

I eventually took off the windbreaker, rolled up the window, and she lowered the blasting hot air. We got it to work and all was good.

But it got me to thinking of how different we all are in our marriages, and how we need to work together to find what is best for both of us.

What is it that your spouse needs to get the “temperature” right in your marriage? We were trying to solve the problem for each of us without trying to “hurt” the other. Neither was wrong but had different needs based on how we are wired.

What solution do we need to have to help meet the needs of our spouse? What is different for us that we need to be concerned for them and try to meet their needs while addressing our own needs? Neither is wrong or right; just different, but we can find a solution that helps us win in marriage.

Compromise is a good word for times like these. We are not attempting to burn or freeze the other person out, rather working together to find what is best for us to grow in our relationship. What do I need to do to help my spouse? What needs does he/she have that we need to address to help us both grow in our relationship and become healthier in our marriage?

There are times you may have to roll down the window or crank up the heat for the other person, but bottom line is communicate what we need and how to address those needs most effectively.

We often say we are pulling on the same side of the rope, not against one another like tug of war. We do not want to simply get our own way, but what is best for “us,” not what is best for “me?”

So where do you need to communicate, evaluate, and roll up the window or turn down the temperature in your relationship?

~ Jim and Jerolyn



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