Unsatisfied Needs: Not an Excuse for Cheating
Not all cheaters know why they cheated; some of them are not even sure what really pushed them to cheat. Nothing will ever justify cheating; however, victims of affairs oftentimes try to justify their spouses’ actions. Usually they blame it on unsatisfied needs.
Let’s take a look at two of the needs within a marriage along with some conversation starters to help you explore those needs as you work on your marriage.
Cheating is Inexcusable
Not even the worst problems in a marriage can excuse infidelity. People sometimes believe that marriage problems can be solved through ways outside of their marriage, but it can’t. Cheating is outside of marriage, and it just adds more problems, heartaches and devastation. So how can anyone justify cheating?
When cheaters are asked why they cheated, they often tell their spouse that their needs weren’t met. Whether their needs were met or not, it is still not a justification. It is still wrong to seek need fulfillment if it requires breaking your vows.
Cheating is inexcusable, and there is nothing more you can do about the past. You can’t change it, so instead of focusing your thoughts on the past, think of what you can do now to prevent infidelity from happening again. Think about your needs, your spouse’s needs and how you can work on them.
Your Marriage Needs
Within every partnership or relationship, there is a multitude of needs. Some more important than the others, while some are random everyday needs, like “I need you to take out the garbage.” There are different levels of needs, and the most important ones are the need for love, intimacy and companionship.
Other deep seated needs are honesty and communication. Any of these needs, from the smallest ones to the major ones, can be neglected by one or both spouses. When we become too familiar with someone, we can sometimes neglect their needs, especially when we are busy and engrossed in work and other aspect of our lives.
Sometime we don’t mean it but it can lead to taking each other for granted, or taking your own needs for granted. If ignoring needs become habit, then one or both spouses will feel neglected or unfulfilled.
Everyone has needs, even if they don’t talk about it. If you’re not sure about your partner’s needs or if you feel you lack the emotional connection, maybe you and your spouse haven’t been open about each other’s needs. Talking about your needs in an honest and peaceful manner is important. It can help you understand each other’s needs and how to fulfill them while also fulfilling each other. Here are two conversation starters to help you get going.
Our emotional needs are at the cornerstone of any relationship. It may be wide and complex, but it is extremely important for you to talk about them. One aspect you should look in to is the need for support from a spouse. Everyone wants to feel support and security from our partner.
Try asking these questions:
- Do you support and provide affirmation to your spouse?
- How do you show your spouse support?
- Do you feel that he supports you?
- In what ways is he or she providing you with support? How does he or she show you support?
- How does you spouse want you to show support?
- How do you want your spouse to show support?
Romance isn’t just about poetry, cheesy lines or beds of roses. It about making your spouse feel special. It doesn’t have to big and bold, even the small gestures are important, a look, a touch or even a word can be romantic if you want it to be. Romance may be difficult after an affair because of the fresh relationship wounds, so take your time but don’t stop exploring your romantic needs.
Think about what will fulfill you and what can fulfill your spouse. Try these questions:
- Does your spouse make romantic gestures in the past? What were those gestures?
- Do you make romantic gestures for your partner? What were those gestures?
- How did it make each of you feel when you made or received those gestures?
- How did each of you feel when you exchanged those moments?
- What do you need your spouse to do to be more romantic?
- What does your spouse need you to do to be more romantic?
Any marriage or relationship has multiple need dimensions. Emotional and romantic needs are just two of them. There are many more conversation starters out there that you can try, and these will help you get started in working to save your marriage. Remember to be open and honest to each other as you explore and progress though the different aspects of marriage needs.