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I don’t feel prioritized by my partner

Where is Our Focus?

Prioritize Your PartnerIn this article, you will learn to prioritize each other in your relationship.
This is actually a topic that means quite a lot to most couples.

It fundamentally involves understanding each other and our differences.
There can be differences in how we perceive and prioritize things and events. Significant differences.
But one way is not more right or wrong than the other.

The Prioritization Triangle has also formed the basis for my book “Partner for livet” (in Danish).

Read more at www.parforhold-parterapi.dk/english


“My partner is busy with everything else but me.”
This is what many people, both men, and women, who contact me say.

Understanding

The problems almost always revolve around a lack of understanding of each other.
Not being able to understand what the other person thinks, believes, and feels.
Not prioritizing in a beneficial sequence.

Often, boundaries and priorities blend in a random mix.
However, after many years of experience, I have found an effective and respectful structure for prioritizing, which has achieved great success in many relationships.

The Triangle

As a rule of thumb, the prioritization sequence is divided into four layers and is shaped like a triangle.

Layer Number One

At the top and most important in the triangle is yourself.
It’s important to emphasize that this has nothing to do with selfishness.
Being at the top means two things: 1) You recognize what you want, and 2) You express this clearly and plainly, at the right time, place, and to the right person.
It doesn’t matter whether you want chocolate ice cream, sex, a vacation, or something else.
Clearly and plainly express what you want.
To better understand what this means, I would ask you: “How do you feel when you don’t know what your partner wants? It’s not pleasant, is it?”
Being at the top of the prioritization triangle doesn’t mean you just get what you want.
It’s only so that you and others are aware of your desires.
And it goes both ways.

Layer Number Two

The next in the Prioritization Triangle is your partner.
This means giving your partner attention and presence.
How would it feel to be ignored by your partner?
Certainly not pleasant, right?
This too goes both ways.

In other words, you both need to prioritize yourselves first, and then listen to and respect your partner.
You need to acknowledge and accept your partner because isn’t it nice to be acknowledged and accepted yourself?

You must never humiliate or belittle your partner.
If your partner has said something in a group, you must never contradict it.
Wait until you are alone so you can sort things out and express your opinions to each other.
You must always support your partner and back them up.
Because isn’t that what you would want for yourself?
The analogy is a wood stove. You can’t expect the stove to give you warmth before you’ve given it wood.
The same applies to a relationship.

Layer Number Three

Acknowledge and respect your partner in the relationshipIn the third layer of the Prioritization Triangle come children and work.
It surprises some people that I give these two groups the same value.
One is not more important than the other.
But often, the feminine in all of us will value children higher than work, and the masculine in all of us will value work higher than children.
It’s in our genes, and it works fine if we respect each other.
Work and children have the same value when it comes to prioritization.
If we DON’T respect each other but BELIEVE that we are right and try to convince our partner of this, we get problems.

Understand your partner before you expect to be understood by your partner.

Layer Number Four

In the fourth and bottom tier comes everything else: Family, friends, politics, religion, sports, leisure, vacations, parties, etc.

The Prioritization Triangle is not a static structure, but dynamic.
If you’re playing soccer with friends and about to score a goal, you shouldn’t start thinking about needing to pee or how your partner is doing.
You need to get that ball in the net.
Or if a family member suddenly has an accident, you need to set everything else aside and give this person your full attention.
Once things calm down, you can check in with yourself, put a virtual arm around your spouse, and then consider children and work.

Where do children learn about relationships? Is it a subject at school, or do they get their knowledge and habits from books they read?
Of course, it’s by watching the adults around them.
You are their role models, and the way you are together and treat each other is what they will copy.
If you prioritize children and work before yourself and your partner, that’s what the children will learn and later use in their own relationships.
Possibly with varying success.
Therefore, it’s extremely important that you are happy with each other and prioritize yourselves before the children and work.
The side benefit is that it’s very nice to have a good relationship with your spouse.
We all want to be appreciated, loved, and desired.

  • Prioritize yourself first. Recognize your needs and express them clearly and plainly in an appropriate manner.
  • Then prioritize your partner with your full attention and devotion.

This will greatly improve your relationship.

Read even more about the Prioritization Triangle at www.parforhold-parterapi.dk/parterapi/psykologi/prioritering

Strategies

It might be that you or your partner find it difficult to prioritize each other and the relationship.
But what if you both had better strategies and habits, so you didn’t have to think deeply about how to fulfill your desires and meet your needs?

Learning better communication strategies and gaining a greater understanding of your differences can be relatively quick and easy to learn in couple coaching.

Couples coach Mikael Hoffmann

Read more about couples counseling, couple therapy and couples therapy Copenhagen at www.parforhold-parterapi.dk/english