I’ve met and gotten to know a lot of women who were once just like I was. Their whole life, every thought, every emotion is wrapped up in the man they love. They are needy and frustrated. Their husband or lover becomes their God. They are co-dependent on their partner for happiness and survival.
At the time, I didn’t realize what a terrible burden I had placed on my partner’s shoulders. My entire happiness depended on him and him alone. Every tilt of his eyebrow, an imagined scowl, a look of disappointment or anger I took as a sign that he not only disliked me, but hated who I was.
I’m not saying that he was blameless in our “dynamic-duo.” I’m simply sharing the realization that women place far too many demands on the man they love. He can’t possibly live up to those needs and expectations. He may even feel afraid of how much you need him and depend on him. He may feel inadequate or suffer guilt because he can’t.
Seeing your sadness and disappointment day after day may even push him further away. To avoid his discomfort, he may stay away from home longer than usual. Find excuses to work late or to be involved in other people’s lives in order to stay busy and uninvolved with you.
How did I manage to turn my life around? I developed my own faith in an eternal God who never lets me down. When I stopped depending on my husband to fulfill my needs, I gained enough internal strength, through my faith, to develop confidence in myself.
There is a false promise in society’s definition of love that says finding the right person can make you happy. The truth is that no one can make you happy. That is your job. An eternal perspective with God as your anchor makes internal peace and happiness possible. Fulfillment and joy through another person, through self-absorption or another philosophy is just an empty, false promise.
When you wrongly believe that someone can make you happy, you give up any responsibility of making yourself content and happy. And you give someone else enormous power over you that they can never fulfill.
Realize whether you’re a man or woman that every person has strengths and weaknesses. Don’t expect another imperfect human being to fill your emptiness or to make your life a beautiful Camelot. Both partners in a relationship have the obligation and commitment to support one another and help one another through the difficulties in life. Your partner did not sign on to make you happy. You did not sign on to make them completely happy either.
Only an equal partnership where both work together to create a life that makes each of them happy works. A home does require order. Leadership is required. One of the partners may be a better decision maker than the other. Fairness and balance are essential. The ability to talk things out is a necessity. Both of you will not be strong or positive at the same time. Intuitive support may be required at times followed by a backing off and the providing of space at other times.
Love can be smothering when its intent is selfish or demanding. Love, like charity, should have the “other” in mind. Empathy and caring can smooth out the rough edges if it’s not overpowering. Patience is a skill that sows the seeds of love and allows the partnership to flourish. Avoid the unkind or hateful word; doing that will make you stronger.
A Psalm I recite as a prayer when I’m ready to lash out has helped me: “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (PS. 141:3)
If I can’t keep silent, I leave the room. My partner doesn’t even realize this is happening. I’ve been able to curb my anger and hold my tongue. My flare ups are rare anymore. I’m a stronger person because of it.
My spouse has less reason to lose his cool. We are both becoming dedicated to keeping the peace. When we talk about subjects that we disagree on, we bring it into a less agitated environment and clear the air. Love and happiness don’t just magically happen. You work through it together. Not only does the connection between you become stronger, but your happiness is a natural outcome.