Guys have needs…can I get an amen out there?? I don’t often consciously think about what my needs are. But, the one time I really realize it is when a specific need isn’t being met. When it’s been a while since I’ve been hiking or camping, I realize I have a need to get outdoors. When I haven’t been spending time with God, I realize my need for spiritual direction. When Julia and I haven’t been on a date in a while, I realize I need quality time with her. I have A LOT of needs. The list goes on…eating food, having friends, feeling safe, a sense of accomplishment at work, sexual intimacy, exercising, getting enough rest, etc. Unfortunately, some guys place unfair expectations on their wives to meet them.
The phrase “you complete me” was made popular by the movie Jerry McGuire, but this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Your wife will NEVER complete you. She WILL make your life better. She WILL help meet SOME of your needs, but expecting her to fill every void in your life is a disaster waiting to happen. There are some needs in your life that it IS your wife’s role to fill. This centers around the design of marriage and bringing two people together as one. You are BOTH meant to work together as parents, as managers of where you live and what it takes to make life happen, and to meet the physical and emotional needs in your relationship with each other. But there are many needs in life that fall outside of this.
One major source of meeting your needs is YOU! As great as your wife may be, she doesn’t know what you need better than you do. Take responsibility for yourself. If you feel down because you don’t enjoy your job, or if you are disappointed with the number of friends you have, don’t take it out on your wife. She can’t make up for it by loving you more in other areas. You need to evaluate what your needs are, and if something is lacking, think about what can be done to meet it. An even better idea is to involve your wife in the conversation. There is a good chance she will have some great ideas!
But, the biggest factor in this conversation isn’t you or your wife, it is your relationship with God. Everything good in MY life is a blessing from Him. He is the ONLY one that can complete me, because He is ALL I NEED! A lack of outdoors time or playing sports don’t mean anything compared to the presence of God. If you are living in Him…there is nothing else in life that truly matters.
My challenge to you:
If you are disappointed with how your needs are being met or feel there is a void in your life, don’t blame your wife! First and foremost, take it to God. Spend time in prayer asking Him to reveal what needs to happen in your life, and to help you put all your trust in Him. Then, reflect on what YOU can do to meet those needs. Lastly, if there is something still lacking that involves your wife, talk with her about it in a loving and respectful way. But, at the same time, try to find if there are any needs YOU are not meeting for HER.