Do you need your wife more than she needs you, or does she need you more than you need her? Which of you gains more from the marriage, which of you would be worse off if the marriage ended?
Of course, your answers are totally subjective, and your bride might not agree with you. However, how you each feel about this can have a profound effect on your marriage.
- If you feel you gain more, that you need her more than she needs you, you will tend to feel unsettled. You might fear she will leave you. You might fear she will figure out she is getting the short end of the stick in your marriage. You might fear she will see you for who you really are and not want to be with you any more. These fears will eat at you, and keep you from relaxing and being yourself with her. These fears can even become self-fulfilling as you subconsciously push her away. Alternately, you might choose to leave her to keep from being hurt by her leave you. Or, your fear could keep you from getting close, so when the end comes you won’t be completely devastated.
- If your bride feels she gains more, that she needs you more than you need her, she could have any of the fears listed above, and might do one of more of the things I suggested.
- If you feel she gains more, that you need her less than she needs you, resentment might come in. You might slack off, figuring doing half of what you could and should do is still giving her more than you receive. You might communicate your dissatisfaction to your wife in some way, causing her to become guarded and thus less able to give you the things you want and need. She might decide she can never succeed and just stop trying all together.
- If she feels you gain more, that you need her more than she needs you, she might feel the things above, and you might react as I said.
So,what to do if any of the above seems true? What if one or both of you perceive a significant imbalance in your relationship? How do you avoid the problems that can cause?
If you are the one who is doing or being more, you can choose to see it differently. See what you are doing as an act of love. See it as what is right to do, not some benevolent gift bestowed on your unworthy spouse. Work to give even more, realising you are blessed to be able to do so. Express that attitude to your bride in both your words and your actions. “I’m glad I’m in a place where I can do this for you, where I can give to you, where I can bless you.” Make it clear she is not a burden, but rather it is a joy to do for her because you love her. (If that is not exactly true yet, then work on it!)
If you think she is doing and being more, I suggest you have an honest talk with her about it. Share your heart, and your concerns, and then listen for her heart. Accept what she says as truth, no matter how hard that may be. Ask her if there is one thing she most wants or needs from you, and if it’s at all possible to do something about it, do it. Realise God calls us to love and sacrifice, and that He blesses us when we do those things. If she is being godly by doing more for you than you can currently do for her, it means God will bless and strengthen her.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
New blog this week – mission:husband. I found this blog last week after something linked me to mission:wife done by his wife. I like what I’m reading.
Do You Two Have a Place?: Every couple should have a special place to hang out together.
Black and Married with Kids
I Love The Way My Marriage….: Listen to this wife and learn.
The Generous Wife
Journey to Surrender
Hope at Home 2012!: If you have adopted children, or are thinking about it, I hear this is an excellent conference.
Offer Your Spouse Appreciation & Praise: She needs it – don’t hold out on her!
You’re Wife’s Version of a “Quickie” : Gerad gets it – do you?
A First Time Dad’s Guide to Surviving Childbirth: If you have a baby on the way, this is invaluable.
Porn; It’s Ruining Your Marriage: A well done post with an important warning!
One Flesh Marriage
The Elusive Orgasm: If your bride struggles with orgasm, this is for both of you.
SEX (cheaper than plastic surgery): A woman telling women why sex is good for them!
The Romantic Vineyard
Love, No Matter How It Expressed, Is Still A Gift!: Great thoughts on taking love languages too far.
5 Right and Wrong Reasons To Want A Healthy Marriage: Get rid of the first five, and work on having the second five.
Beware of marital drift : The cumulative effects of marital drift can sneak up on you. Check your marriage!
Stupendous Marriage Show 045: Love and Respect and Toys : Yet another great podcast.
…to Love Honor and Vacuum
Is Being a Stay at Home Mom More Stressful?: Some excellent thoughts on a recent poll showing stay at home mom’s are more depressed.
Do You Treat Sex Like a Reward–Something You Do For Your Husband? and When You Don’t Want to Make Love: Getting Over Thinking Sex is For Him are designed to help women see sex as something for them to enjoy as much as their husbands.