EP 298: Get Out of Your Relationship Rut with Shaun

This episode is about how to get your needs met in an intimate relationship. Today’s caller, Shaun, is looking for guidance on how to re-open his heart and rekindle the warmth for his partner whom he loves. We discuss strategies for getting beyond the hurts and moving toward understanding and compassion. We often love the way we need to be loved instead of loving a person the way they need to be loved.

As much as we want love and connection in a relationship, the thing we want even more is not to get hurt or lose our power. Often, we put more energy into avoiding what we don’t want than creating the relationship we do want because that’s what we need to do to survive.

Our intimate relationships are often the very fertile ground where we work out any issues from childhood we haven’t quite resolved. If we were criticized a lot in childhood, it can come up in a relationship. If we were anxious or didn’t feel safe, that is going to come up. If there was cheating within our parent’s relationship, that is going to come up. Jealousy, abandonment, all the things we felt as children tend to come up in romantic relationships because romantic relationships are our adult family.

Remember, our relationship with our primary family is the intimate relationship that forms the foundation for all future intimate relationships.

Whenever we are in an argument, or rut, or tension with our partner, the most important thing that we can do is get to a level of understanding and compassion with ourselves and our partner to understand what the need is that is not being met inside of ourselves. We discover the unmet need that is triggering us and making the situation hard. Then, we look at our needs and then at our partner’s needs and take responsibility for communicating the needs in a clear, specific, non-blaming way.

It is important to be clear with our partners about how we need to be loved.

Join us for our virtual Relationship Retreat on June 11‒13, 2021. It will be recorded if you can’t make it live. But if you make it live you have an opportunity for live coaching. Go to ChristineHassler.com/relationshipretreat. We will discuss aligning values, getting better at fulfilling each other’s needs, and communication tools. Couples and singles are welcome.

I’ve partnered with Hiitide, which is an online book club and micro-course to help you apply principles from my book, Expectation Hangover, to your daily life. Turn the book into action. Get 28-days of easily digestible prompts and exercises delivered to your phone. A live Q&A session with me is included. The project launches July 1, 2021. Go to ChristineHassler.com/bookclub to learn more. Podcast listeners get 25% off by using the code ‘Hangover25’ at checkout.

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Consider/Ask Yourself

  • Do you feel like your heart is not open to your partner?
  • Do you feel like there are things that happen in your relationship you can’t forgive, can’t shift, or can’t get over?
  • Are there issues from your childhood that may be playing out in your relationship?
  • Are you in a dynamic of being avoidant and it produces anxiety in your partner, or vice-a-versa?

Shaun’s Question:

Shaun would like guidance on how to re-open his heart to his partner.

Shaun’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • He has been in his relationship for nearly five years.
  • He doesn’t feel the closeness he once felt.
  • He loves his partner.
  • Both partners get triggered during arguments.
  • He was bullied as a child and felt attacked.
  • His dad wasn’t around as much as he would have liked.
  • His parent’s marriage was passionless.
  • The dynamic in his partner’s family was competitive.
  • He tends to dissociate during arguments.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Ask his partner what she needs.
  • Set his partner up to win.
  • Attend our upcoming relationship retreat.
  • Have a ‘needs’ conversation with his partner.
  • Get specific about how he wants his needs met.
  • Make his relationship his top priority.


  • When triggered in a relationship, consider what needs are not being met.
  • Make your current or future relationship a priority.
  • Join us for our relationship retreat June 11-13, 2021.


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As much as we want love and connection in a relationship, the thing we want even more is not to get hurt. Click To Tweet At the root of every argument is an unmet need. Click To Tweet We often love the way we need to be loved instead of loving a person the way they need to be loved. Click To Tweet

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