The Purpose Factor

While all of the factors function somewhat independently, if one becomes weakened, so do the others. If the primacy, power, and interests factors are weakened, the relationship can still function. But, If the "purpose" is  weakened,  then the IM relationship is in serious danger of collapsing.

For this reason the "purpose" factor could be considered the most important of the four factors. If the purpose factor is intact then the relationship has a reason for existing. If the purpose factor is impaired, then there is little reason for the IM relationship to exist, or for the participants to remain in the IM relationship.

Why do people get together?

Most people enter a relationship for a reason, for a purpose. And all relationships, including the IM relationship, have a purpose: they satisfy the various needs of the people involved. In the intimate relationship, as distinct from other relationships, the participants also usually agree to satisfy each other's needs, but do so in a different way: exclusively and mutually. Mutually, means that they do it for each other, and exclusively means that they exclude others from satisfying these needs. So, the purpose  of the IM relationship is to mutually and exclusively satisfy each other's needs, including social, emotional, and sexual needs.

If both parties enter the relationship agreeing that the purpose is to satisfy each other's needs, then the relationship has a reason for existing. If, on the other hand, the purpose is not agreed upon or is not well understood, then the reason for being together is called into question. lt is the purpose factor that focuses on the reason for being in the relationship in the first place.

And the purpose factor is made up of various components that aid in achieving the purpose of the relationship. lt is the components of this factor that can cause the strengthening or weakening of this supportive pillar of the IM relationship.

The specific components of the purpose factor are satisfying each other's wishes, needs, anc desires; having agreed-upon goals; and partnering.

Here's a brief look at one of these components.

Satisfying each other's wishes, needs, and desires

My experience with troubled relationships suggests that psychological needs are the ones that most often cause couples to seek my help. Outstanding among the unsatisfied psychological needs that 1 most often encounter involve affection, appreciation, and support. By affection, l'm referring to the same thing that the words love, fondness, closeness, desire, and attachment imply. By appreciation l'm referring to the recognition of what is being done; being thankful, grateful, and aware of the other's efforts. Support is used to denote one spouse giving assistance and bolstering the efforts of the other.

I was blown away by the insights in the chapter regarding life's circumstances! Sometimes I think you get so caught up in job things, you lose sight of what's important. Really glad I read this.
Victoria MN