It is your desire. You and your spouse desire to have your relationship needs met. The relationship stands a better chance of being long and happy. One of the biggest reasons relationships do not work is not having needs met. So it is very important in your marriage to have those relationship needs met to say happy and stay together.The best way to get your needs met in the marriage is by making sure the other person knows just what those needs are. You can’t read minds, and you should not expect your spouse to be able to ready minds either. You have to tell them what those needs are.
At the same time, encourage your spouse to tell you the needs they feel are important. You might be surprised to learn, especially if you never had this conversation, how different your needs might be.
You might need your spouse to tell you they love you and tell you often. Because you need it you may feel you must do that for them. Now he should enjoy it, but maybe that is not the need he has. Maybe what he really needs is for you to do quick considerate things to make him feel special. Some people like to be told, and some like to be shown.
I learned this first hand in my own marriage. After my husband and I read the book, “Five Love Languages” we understood how to speak each other’s love language. I need him to tell me he loves me and he needs me to do acts of service. The secret is stepping out of your own wants and needs long enough to lean what your mate needs.
Simply having a discussion about your relationship needs can strengthen the relationship and make it a lot easier for you to keep each other happy. If you are uncomfortable having such a frank discussion, you should do it anyway. Telling each other your needs is better than hinting or expecting them to be psychic.
You may really need your partner to be more helpful to you. But when it’s time to clean or wash dishes you do them alone, yet again. And instead of simply asking for help or letting him know that it would mean a lot to you if he would do them sometimes or do them with you, you get angry. You might huff around while you’re doing them, slam a cabinet, or act otherwise put out. This is passive aggressive behavior. You’re trying to manipulate him into helping you by acting that way. It’s much better and healthier to simply ask for help.
Passive aggressive behavior is common in relationships, and it’s a worsening cycle because it doesn’t work. If he does take your hint, it’s only after you’ve acted put upon, angry and resentful. So his doing the dishes might be only to keep you from acting that way. If you ask for help and explain that it makes you feel good when he wants to help you, then he’s coming at the task from a place of love and helpfulness. He doesn’t feel forced into doing it, so it’s better for everyone. This applies to things like showing affection, respecting each other’s feelings, and every aspect of your relationship. When you want something, ask for it, and be prepared to give your partner what he or she asks for to make sure all your relationships needs are met.
Always remember we can only change ourselves. We can not change our spouses. Prayer works and it also gives us the grace to continue to be committed to our marriages. Love is not a noun, it is an action verb. We will either stop loving our spouses or we will continue to love them.
If you are ready to learn more about your spouse’s needs as well as your own, then you are the client I want to help.
Debbie Kessler loves her husband, Wally Kessler. She is a southern girl who loves Jesus and loves building up people to do Good Works of Love.