Most of us have been taught that we should decide what we want and need out of relationships, communicate those things to our partners, and expect them to come through for us. Unfortunately, this sets us up for a whole lot of disappointment.
In this episode, I’ll be going over the difference between wants and needs, and how to get those met. Instead of waiting for someone to take care of us, you’ll learn how to advocate for what you want without handing that responsibility over to someone else (and often feeling let down).
You’ll also learn how to tell the difference between wants that will encourage personal growth, and those that are born of insecurity and scarcity.
Knowing what you want and taking full responsibility encourages individual development, while letting those around you see who you really are.
I’m Andrea Giles. You’re listening to the Heal From Infidelity Podcast,
episode number 57: Wants and Needs. Hello and welcome to the Heal From
Infidelity Podcast where courageous women learn not only to heal from their
spouses’ betrayal but to become the boldest, truest, most decisive, and
confident versions of themselves ever. If you know there’s more for you
than the life you’re currently living but don’t quite know how to get
there, you are in the right place. Stick around to learn how to create a
life that will knock your own socks off. Is it possible? It is and I’m here
to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hello, everybody. I hope this episode finds you well. This is episode
number 57. I hope that you are continuing to learn from this podcast, that
it challenges you, that it helps you remember how amazing you are and how
much power you have to change things in your life that are not working for
you. Today we’re talking all about wants and needs, okay? You’ve heard me
talk before about wanting. I talk about it quite a bit, actually, but today
I’m going to go into more detail about the difference between wants and
needs because we mix them up a lot and it makes all the difference in our
life experience, so I’m going to dive into that, okay?
We live in a culture that is all about handing someone else our wants and
needs and expecting that they’ll come through for us. That’s really the way
that we’re taught, to think about the things that we want, and then go tell
somebody, like we’re handing them our order and then expecting that they
will do these things for us, right? It’s kind of an entitled way of
thinking, but it’s very much how many of us were trained and raised and the
messages that we see in society and in social media, all of it is that it’s
all about me and making sure that I have everything met and often we put
that burden on our romantic relationships, so that is the place where this
person should be all of these things for us. I’m going to talk today in
more detail about why this gets us in trouble and what to do about it,
Now, let’s talk about the actual difference between wants and needs. We
often interchange these words as if they’re the same, but they’re actually
not. When we don’t know the difference, we often set ourselves up for
disappointment, right? “I need him to do this at the house. I need him to
do this for me. I need him to take me on a date this often. I need him to
tell me that he loves me this many times a day. I need him to tell me that
I’m beautiful.” Now, here’s the thing: You don’t actually need him to do
those things, you want him to, and that’s okay, okay? It’s okay that you
want those things.
Okay, so first, let’s look at actual needs and get clear on what they are,
okay? First, physical needs. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we
have basic needs, psychological needs, and self-fulfillment needs, okay? I
want you to imagine a triangle. At the base of the triangle, those are
where the basic needs are found, physical, basic needs. Without these needs
met, the rest don’t really matter, so you can probably imagine what some of
these things are: We have to eat. We have to have food. We have to have
water. We have to have warmth. We have to have rest. We have to have safety
and security. Shelter, right? We need a place to be physically safe, ‘kay?
Now, when those needs are met, we move up the triangle. We moved to
psychological needs. We need intimate relationships. We need friends. We
need feelings of accomplishment, knowing that we matter, ‘kay?
Next up at the top of the triangle, self-fulfillment needs.
Self-fulfillment needs are creativity, achieving one’s own potential. This
is called “self-actualization.” What self-actualization means is stepping
more fully into who you are. I personally really love that need. I love
that it’s even named as a need. That means that a human need is to continue
to grow and become more of who we are. We all come here with amazing gifts
and talents and this self-fulfillment piece of this hierarchy of needs is
where we step more fully into the person that we are and let those parts of
us shine that maybe we have dimmed or forgotten or muted, ‘kay? This is a
very important piece. Those are the things that we actually need, ‘kay?
Okay, now let’s look at the wants. We might want them to tell us all the
time how wonderful we are. We might want them to do all the things that we
want them to do and be everything we want them to be. We might want them to
be interested in growing and healing and changing the way that we are. We
might have a prescription for us of what that looks like, like reading
books, listening to podcasts, things like that, hiring a coach, hiring a
therapist, and our partner or spouse might not want that, ‘kay? That could
become problematic when we look at what we make it mean.
First of all, what are wants and how important are they? Like I said
earlier, you hear me talk all the time about wants. It’s really, really
important. I’ve done whole podcast episodes about honoring our wants. I
believe that having our needs met helps us to survive, but having our wants
met helps us to thrive. I know me personally, I don’t want to just survive,
I want to thrive. I don’t want to just get by, right? I don’t want to just
get by. We each have individual needs and we each have individual wants.
But the question for you is: Whose job is it to meet those?
One of the things that you’ve heard me teach is that learning to meet our
own needs and not delegating them out can help empower us, right? It gives
us self-sufficiency that we’re not waiting on somebody else, but I want to
go a little deeper on that. One of the issues we see in our culture is this
culture of instant gratification: I want it now. I want it and I want it
now, almost like the moment it crosses your mind, you must have it.
As I was writing my notes out for this, I was thinking about a pregnancy
craving, and I can say I woke up at like 2:00 in the morning this morning
and just really wanted to peach, so I got up in the middle of the night and
I went and ate a peach. I wanted a peach, darn it, I’m going to go eat one,
so I did. For whatever reason, peaches have been something that I’ve had
cravings for. So random, right? But it’s like that, like I must have it
now, I must have it, okay?
Now, the kind of wanting that I’m talking about comes from a much deeper
place, ‘kay? That kind of want that I just described about wanting the
peach, it’s more impulsive, right? I don’t really need it. I don’t really
need it. If I would’ve just waited and stayed in bed, nothing would have
happened, right? It’s not a big deal. That’s coming from that lower, more
impulsive part of our brain, ‘kay, some of those wants. It reminds me,
you’ve heard people say, “I want a pony,” making fun of little kids who
just want it all, want it now, “I want a pony.” It’s kind of that kind of
thing. It can sound a little entitled sometimes. Those things are coming
from that lower part of our brain, okay?
Now, the kind of wanting I’m talking about comes not from that lower
impulsive part of your brain, but from your higher, highly intellectual
brain. Guess what? It doesn’t even have to make perfect sense, ‘kay? It
doesn’t have to make sense to anybody but you. All that matters is that you
know what you want and that you like your reasons for wanting it and you’re
the only person in the whole world who has to like your reason, right? You
don’t have to convince anybody else. You don’t have to talk anybody else
Here’s something that I’ve probably mentioned before, but that’s really,
really important to me, and it’s become more important to me as I’ve gotten
older: I’ve mentioned before how much I love the ocean. There’s really
nowhere on this earth where I feel more peace, where I feel more grounded,
where I feel more just love. I just love being there. I love how beautiful
and peaceful and the smells and all of it. I just feel the most at home at
the ocean. I live in Montana. Montana is landlocked. We have no ocean.
We’re pretty far from the ocean. I have communicated to my husband. I’ve
said it out loud that I want to build my life to become such that I’m able
to spend a significant portion of the year on the coast. That’s what I
Now, I don’t have a timeline attached to this. I don’t know exactly when,
but I know that it’s going to happen. You know how I know it’s going to
happen? Because it’s something that I want and I trust that me leaning into
that want will help me develop. It will help me become more of who I am.
What are some of those things that I’d have to do, some of the actions that
have to take to make that happen? I’d have to have things arranged with my
business so that I could work from anywhere. I would have to make sure that
finances are in order to be able to afford it, right? I would have to have
arrangements for children, for schooling, for all the activities that
they’re in. I’d have to be able to make sure that that works for them
because that’s also a priority of mine, to make sure that my kids are
thriving, and so sorting out what that would look like, right? I have to
believe that it’s possible.
You know what? I’m telling you right now, one of these days, you’re going
to hear me talk on this podcast and I’m going to tell you that I made it
happen. I guarantee it. It’s coming. I just know that it’s going to happen.
I believe it. I don’t know exactly when. I don’t have a really tight
timeline because of the nature of my family right now with multiple
children at home and high school and junior high school, but it’s coming.
It’s something that’s going to happen. I love thinking about the person
that I need to become to make that a reality for me and for my family,
‘kay? That desire that I’m talking about is more than just this fleeting
thought of, “Oh, yeah. That sounds really nice.” It’s lasting. I trust that
it serves a higher purpose in me and it could totally be a physical thing,
‘kay? It can be something physical that you want. I just want you to check
your reason why you want it, ‘kay?
For example, sometimes we want things and our egos are there to think, “Oh,
I want this thing so that other people think X, Y, and Z about me. I want
them to think that I’m really put together. I want them to think that I
look good. I want them to think that I make a lot of money,” right? Check
those, ‘kay? Why do you want it? How do you think it will make you feel?
Why do you want those people to think those things about you, right? What
will that do for you if those people think those things about you? Again,
we can’t control what anybody thinks anyway, but why do you need that? Why
are you thinking that you need them to think those things? Check those
If it’s coming from a place of lack, if it’s coming from a place of
insecurity, when you do have the thing, it’s not going to land the way that
you think it will. It’s not going to magically make you feel more secure.
You’ll think it will and then you’ll have that thing and you won’t be able
to feel it. The reason why: You won’t be able to receive it fully because
you still have that unworked-out insecurity within yourself, ‘kay? When we
want things and go pursue them out of love for ourselves out of honoring
who we are and honoring the things that we want, the receiving of it
becomes a very different experience, ‘kay?
Now, I want to talk about a little bit about a concept that I learned from
one of my coaches, Brooke Castillo. She did a podcast a while back on her
podcast, The Life Coach School Podcast, and she made up this concept that
I’ve thought about a lot. It’s called “the want-match concept.” What that
is is that we all have our list of wants, we all have the things that we
want, and we have a list of them. Oftentimes, what we do is we have this
list and we say, “Spouse, these are all the things that I’m going to need
for you for me to feel secure here, okay?” What if they don’t want to do
it? What if there’s things that your spouse just is not interested in
I’m going to give you a couple of examples, ‘kay? One is I’ve always loved
to travel. I’m a pretty adventurous person. I love going to new places. I
love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I love traveling to
foreign countries. When I was 17, I was a foreign exchange student in
Germany, lived with a German family. I loved it. That’s part of who I am.
Part of what I want is to continue to travel. I want to go see different
places, places I’d never been before.
While it might be nice to think of my husband as my travel buddy and
companion who just would love to come with me, and just, of course, he just
would want to be with me for all these adventures I go on. Guess what? My
husband’s kind of a homebody. He’ll come with me on some of the trips, but
he’s probably not going to be interested in going with me on all the
different trips that I want to go on. Now, I could make that a problem and
I could make him wrong and I could judge him and I could think that, “Maybe
I married the wrong guy because he doesn’t care about X, Y, and Z,” but
there is another way to look at it. What if I could find somebody else who
wants the same thing? What if I could find a group of friends that also
love to travel and we can make our plans together? That is a want match.
That is a match, if I have a want, I want to do this with somebody else,
and I find somebody else to do this with.
What about wanting a clean house, ‘kay? I can want my kids to fall in line
and be perfect about all of their chores and really do a great job. I could
want my husband to, like I said before, do the dishes three times a week. I
could want him to do all the laundry. I could have all these things that I
want. But guess what? Sometimes he won’t want to do it. There’s times where
he just won’t want to, where he’ll say, “You know what? There’s other
things I’d rather do.” I can get upset and I can get mad or I could figure
out how to make that a match. I can work a little bit harder to bring in a
little more income and hire somebody to do all of those things, right? I
can find my own solution to it and not hang my own happiness or
satisfaction on if that is done on him, right? I’d be waiting a long time
in some cases.
Another thing that has happened in my own marriage is that I’ve probably
mentioned before that my husband, he has multiple things that he’s involved
in work-wise but one of the main things is that we have different farms. We
have three different farms and he’s very busy right now because it’s still
harvest season. But earlier on in our marriage, he loved for me to come
ride on the tractors and go all over the place where he was running errands
and getting the different things that he needed and he loved me to go with
I enjoyed it, too, until I didn’t, until I thought, “You know what? There’s
other things that I want to use my time for.” This is before I became a
coach. There’s other things that I would like to do. There’s other places
that I’d like to spend time, particularly when my kids were at school, and
so I started saying no. He would ask me, “Hey, do you want to run with me
here?” He liked my company. Can you blame him? I’m fun to be around, right?
But I would start to say, “No, I’ve got other things that I want to do
He might’ve been disappointed and like, “Aw, bummer. I really want her to
come along,” and I could let him be disappointed and it’s okay. I don’t
have to solve for that. I don’t have to make it better for him, right? I
got to honor myself. The beautiful thing is that when I do go with him, he
knows darn well I want to be there and I know darn well I want to be there.
I’m choosing it, right? I’m choosing to go be with him because I want to
be, not because I have this expectation on me that I need to do this, okay?
All right. I want to touch a little bit on The Five Love Languages book,
‘kay? It’s very popular. People love it. I want to talk about it a little
bit, ‘kay? I think that there’s a lot of good in this book. It’s good to
understand yourself, to know what makes you tick, to know the things that
matter to you, to know the things that matter to your spouse, right? It
does matter. It’s good to know. It’s good to know well the people that you
live with, to really understand them, right?
Here’s the thing, though: The problem with this is that we often will take
the things that are our love languages and hand it over and say, “‘Kay,
these are the things I need you to do for me to feel loved.” This is so
transactional. It doesn’t work because sometimes that person doesn’t feel
comfortable doing those things. Sometimes it’s really so far out of their
realm of what they want to give in a relationship that they might resent
feeling like, “I have to do this, or she’s going to be mad at me.” Then I
promise you, if it’s coming from this place of lack in you, you will not
receive it the way that you think you will.
This is what I recommend: I want you to think about two business partners,
‘kay, they’re forming this business. They are both very good at what they
do. They both know what they’re good at. Let’s say that one of them brings
really good sales and people skills. They’re really good at talking to
them. They’re very good at connecting with people, ‘kay? The other person
is a great inventor of a product. They know how to produce it. They know
how to tweak it and make it better. That is a match, right? The one person
is the brains behind the actual product and the other person is the brains
behind getting that product sold. They both bring their own unique skills
to make something better than what they could do on their own, right? They
could each go into business on their own, they could, and have some
success, but they’re bringing their skills together. The things that
they’re good at, they’re bringing them together, and they’re making this
thing that’s better than what they could do on their own.
That is what I recommend when it comes to needs and wants, ‘kay, that you
are already starting from a place of sufficiency, that you want things,
just like this business partnership, they don’t need the other person, they
don’t have to have that other person, right? They can still be successful
without them, but they’re like, “Hey, let’s put our brains together and
make something better,” ‘kay? That’s what can happen in a relationship: We
can bring it up our own whole self to a relationship and say, “Hey, this is
what I have to give. I’m so happy to give this here. What do you have to
give? Perfect. Let’s make something better. Let’s make something amazing
Now, something that has happened in my marriage is my husband’s a pretty
laid-back, pretty easygoing guy, and he sometimes gets bugged with me
because I’ll want to have talks and I’ll want to talk about ways that I
think that we can become better ways that we can grow. He’ll be like,
“Well, I’m just happy. I’m just happy,” and I’m like, “I’m happy, too, but
it doesn’t mean that I can’t want more for us.” I’ve said to him, “I think
if we work on these things, like if we work on expressing our wants and
needs more clearly and seeing where we want to accommodate each other,
right, if we work on communicating, if we work on these other things that I
just feel like we could grow in, we could knock it right out of the park,
right? Yeah, we already have a good marriage. Why not go for great, right?”
That comes from expressing and telling the truth about what I want and what
I need and not leaving it to him, but communicating it and seeing where
we’re a match, okay?
To wrap things up, I want to ask you: How can you grow in meeting your own
needs and validating yourself? That’s number one. Number two: I want you to
actually sit down and make a list of all of your wants. I want you to write
them out. I want you to spend time asking yourself with each thing that you
write down why do you want them. Really dig deep. Why do you want them? I
want you to ask, “Do I like my reason?” ‘Kay? If it’s a yes, move on to the
next step. The next step is looking at how that can be a match: How can I
accomplish that? How can I give that to myself? Is this something that I’m
asking of my spouse? Is he willing to give it to me? Is there somebody else
that can do this with me? ‘Kay?
I want to say, it goes on the flip side, too. I wanted to just throw this
in there. So many of my clients feel hurt because their spouses in one way
or another blame them for the choices that they have made by stepping out
of the marriage. “Well, you didn’t do this for me. You didn’t do this for
me.” What I want to say to you is that it was never your job to do those
things. It was never your job. We don’t owe anybody anything. We really
don’t, ‘kay? You don’t owe your spouse anything.
The best marriages come when we want to be there, when we want to give the
things that we do from a place of love. You don’t owe anything and it’s not
an excuse. You not having sex multiple times a week with them or you not
making dinner the way they want or whatever it is that is said to you does
not mean, “Oh, you’re not meeting my needs, so I have to go get them met
elsewhere.” That’s coming from an insecure place where they’re looking for
I want to remind you, you’re worthy of having both your wants and your
needs met. You are worthy of not just surviving, but also thriving. I want
you to ask, “What are the things that make me feel alive? What are they?”
Go do them, do more of them without waiting for permission, without waiting
for someone to make it happen for you. Make it happen for yourself. That is
how self-trust is built, you showing up for you, you advocating for you,
you getting what you want for you because you matter, the things that you
want matter. Just make sure you like your reasons for wanting them, ‘kay?
Don’t do yourself the disservice of handing it to somebody else. Why should
you give it to somebody else? You are fully capable of figuring out,
problem-solving how to get your needs and wants met. Yes, we bring in other
people because it enriches our experience, but we don’t have to wait around
for someone to give it to us, okay? You are worth it. Thank you so much for
being here. I appreciate you. I love you. I hope you all have a wonderful
week. I will see you next time. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal From Infidelity podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
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