When I’m working with couples, I often encounter two different mindsets. The first sees them self as an empty vessel waiting to be poured into by their spouse. The second sees them self as a full vessel eagerly waiting to pour into their marriage. This blog addresses the former.
This expectation (conscious or subconscious) that your spouse is going to be able to magically fulfill all of your emotional needs will place an unnecessary amount of stress on the relationship.
Psychologist Dr. William Harley explains an emotional need as “a craving that, when satisfied, leaves you with a feeling of happiness and contentment, and, when unsatisfied, leaves you with a feeling of unhappiness and frustration.” We all have them – and your spouse will certainly meet some of them. But…
Here is the truth. Brace yourself.
Your spouse is inadequate to meet all of your emotional needs.
One person was never meant to be everything for you. Never. Ever. Not a single time in history has that been the case and that is ok. That may be even relieving for your spouse. Wait, are you arguing with me? Do you think they can, in fact, meet all your emotional needs? Here’s what they’ll never be able to give you:
Your spouse will never be able to completely fill these voids. Sure, they’ll be able to do things from time to time to sooth those insecurities, but they’re humans. They’ll never be able to do enough for you to feel secure at all times. That can only come from you. If you’re struggling with any of those – most of us do at some point – try daily self-affirmations or lean more heavily into your faith. You might find yourself feeling happier and more confident without any outside validation needed.
The reality is that sometimes your goals will not line up with theirs. You wont always share identical passions, so you may find it difficult to draw inspiration from one another.
No person on this earth can complete you. Show up for yourself and you then can show up for your partner. The most meaningful relationships are based out of desire and not need.
Understand everything about you
It’s likely you and your spouse are different. And I mean more different than you like creamy peanut butter and they like crunchy. Your pasts are different. Your baggage is different. They can be a listener who is validates, but they won’t always understand.
A healthy relationship should add to your happiness, not create it. There is a better way getting your emotional needs met – Emotional Diversity. Develop and nurture friendships, enjoy your family, have a hobby, and explore your faith. Whatever you do, don’t expect your spouse to be your everything. You’re setting them and your relationship up for failure.
Give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714 if you have questions about our therapeutic services or would like to schedule an appointment.