Are you giving what your spouse needs?

Person A want and needs the thing from person B, but Person B is unwilling to do the thing as much person A wants. Because of this, person B controls the amount of the thing that A and B have. Person A regularly asks for the thing, and is often refused. Person A cannot get the thing from others, as it is either wrong or would lead to an emotionally inappropriate relationship. Eventually person A asks less often, because of the pain of being refused, but this does not mean their need is any less. Person B can’t understand it (or won’t accept it), the thing is a very real and important need for person A. The lack of the thing results in emotional harm to person A, and results in loss of love and trust for person B.

Person B thinks, “Why should I have the thing more often than I want?” Person B has all the thing they want, and would feel uncomfortable doing more. Person B says, or thinks, “This is just how God made me, and Person A should accept it.” Sometimes person B calls person A selfish or petty or immature (the best defence is a good offence). In order for person A and person B to have the thing more often, Person B would have to work hard at it, and be willing to move out of their comfort zone. Unfortunately, person B is unwilling to do this, and their marriage is being harmed, and may be destroyed, by the lack of the thing, and the fact that person B does not seem to care about the problem this causes person A.

Please sir, I want some more. © Columbia Pictures
Please sir, I want some more

Okay, I know that is tough to read; but I do have an important point here. Many (dare I say most) husbands and wives could alter that so that it is true for them by putting their name in for person A, their spouse in for person B, and enter something for the thing. For many men (and some women) the thing would be sex. For women the thing could be deep communication, regular expressions of love, time together (non-sex, non-TV time). For men respect would be a common replacement for the thing.

I am convinced that any of the things I suggested above makes the first two paragraphs above true. The one who is not providing these things refuses to accept that they are needed for emotional and marital health – but they are. The one being refused wonders how their spouse can claim to love them, and then so often refuse them something they desperately need.

So men, what is the thing for your bride? What thing are you not providing to her great determent? Have you rationalised it by saying it’s not who you are, or it’s not as important as she thinks it is? Do you give her more than you want to, and think she should be thanking you for that? Do you give it to her grudgingly or half-heartedly and wonder why that’s not enough for her? Do you do many other things for her, and think that should make up for not giving her what she needs?

If you would put sex in for the thing, then find out what she would put in for the thing. Realise that you are doing to her what she is doing to you over sex. Don’t rationalise it, don’t excuse it, don’t forget it – do what is right. Do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable, to give her as much of her thing as she wants. Do what you want her to do for you over sex. Best case, she catches on, and responds by working on sex. If not, once you have been giving her all of her thing she wants for several months, print this article out and give it to her.

Yes, you could skip straight to printing and showing her how wrong she is. However, if you are unwilling to consider if you are guilty of doing the same thing, why would you expect her to listen? If you are unwilling to accept that what she needs is really important, why should you expect her to accept that sex is important? If you are unwilling to do the hard work to change for her, why should you expect her to change for you? If you don’t show the way, why bother asking her to do anything?

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One Comment on “Are you giving what your spouse needs?

  1. Following up on the “do what is right” part…God’s Word says that if you don’t do what is right, for you it is sin (“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

    So if Paul’s plea isn’t authoritative enough, I hope God’s is.

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