Trying to make ourselves feel better

Difficulties arise in our relationships, when we don't realise the power of our needs and begin to try and meet our needs in an unhelpful way. If we have a strong need for love and security, then we may place very high expectations and demands on our wife or husband. We may expect them to be forever telling us and showing us how much they love us.

For example, the woman who is very insecure may feel hurt unless her husband is always telling her how good she looks. She may be constantly asking him, what he thinks of a new outfit or hair do and he may think her vain or shallow, when actually she's insecure. If he doesn't fulfill her needs, she may be drawn to some other man who does take notice of her.

A husband may be so insecure that he needs his wife to build up his ego all the time by keeping their sex life exciting. He may put pressure on her to do things she doesn't want. She may see him as unreasonable and demanding, when actually he's crying out for reassurance that she loves him. When things are a little dull he may judge his wife as boring an

d be tempted to look elsewhere.

Of course in marriage we should be showing love and appreciation for each other anyway, the problem is when we demand it as our right.

It can be very easy to try to manipulate situations deliberately to fulfil the needs we have, and try to force the relationship based on our terms not on mutual benefit. We might say something, like: "If you really loved me, you'd switch that TV off and talk." Or, "If you really cared about me, you wouldn't keep making excuses not to make love when I want to." This is emotional blackmail and doesn't help build a strong and happy marriage.

Instead the mature thing to do is to approach the situation slightly differently. If we want to receive love, then we can create the right atmosphere for that in our relationship by being loving ourselves.

Perhaps if you'd given him more attention when he came in from work and listened to his story about his day when you were eating supper he wouldn't have switched the TV on in the first place.

The husband who would like to make love more often, might consider what he can change in his own behaviour. He might consider what makes his wife feel special, perhaps a few gentle words, a loving phone call during the day, a gentle caress while she's making the supper, but these mustn't be done with an underlying demand.

If we do these things simply to achieve our own ends rather than to give something loving to our partner than we become manipulative. If we can reach out to give something to another person freely, then we often receive a blessing back.

Whatever you do, don't blame your husband or wife for those negative feelings and unfulfilled needs. It's not anyone else's responsibility to make you feel good. You can't expect any other person to satisfy all your emotional needs all the time. Likewise don't allow anyone to force their dependence on you.

Honesty, Thursday February 03, 2005
01:15 AM EST


If we are not supposed to put our burdens on our spouses - and I'm not saying we are - then why are we supposed to exhibit the same behavior (and that's exactly what it is) on God? Yes, I believe in part that our partners are a part of the solution to working through the addiction. If you believe in a higher power or God or whatever so be it, but it's the behavior, the dependance and self esteem that must be challenged and not just transferring the same behaviors and old burdens on to a God of your chosing believing that s/he will relieve you of them. Best of luck if you're fooling yourself with this one.



Excellent point. I've deleted the last paragraph and it does sound much better now. Now, we must take responsibility for our actions and not transfer them to another party.


I would like to impart my wisdom on this topic.
When people feel "in love" it starts with a pheramone attraction. But that wares off soon... then what? It isn't about you loving someone or them loving you... it is about how that person makes you feel about yourself and how you make them feel. It is as simple as that.
I've been married for 20 years and we will be together until we die. How do I know this? After 20 years he still looks lovingly at me, attacts me in the kitchen, in a cute way, holds my hand, plays footies with my on the couch while watching a moving. Hundreds of tiny little gestures everyday that make me feel special and loved. I do the same. We actually have quite a happy marriage... except for the gambling.
I'm not christian so I don't have a belief in a God figure... but know many who do. I ask myself... if the same rule doesn't apply to their belief in a " loving" God.