We all have certain myths that we just love to believe. From the guilty pleasure of believing in the Hollywood fairy tale, to still wondering if there is a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, myths abound in our society. Unfortunately, myths also abound in our marriages. This series of posts will explore 5 of the common myths found in our marriages.
Marriage Myth #2: Your spouse should fulfill all of your needs.
The knight in shinning armor, the symbol and beacon of salvation from all relational woes. Many times we enter marriage with the hope that our partner will rescue us from [enter thing here]. I was going to let you down easy, but for the sake of time: it rarely ever works out that way. For a multitude of reasons, the rescued partner ends up feeling either betrayed, abandoned or resentful; while the rescuer either continues on to find another to rescue (savior complex) or finds themselves in a pattern of perpetual rescuing which exhausts them and breeds resentment. Entering marriage with the expectation that your spouse will fill all of your needs will quickly leave you empty and bitter. One person was never intended to fulfill all of your needs. While it is appropriate to rely on your spouse for some of your emotional needs, it is also just as important to have other friends to support you and to fill some of them yourself.
If you are the damsel in distress (may be male or female), take some time to evaluate why you must rely on someone else to rescue you from your problems. I believe in you, and in your own ability to take care of (some) of your issues. Learn how to meet some of your own needs, how to care for your own wounds. Not because we are meant to be in isolation, far from it; rather if we are able to at least sort through and collect our mess to be able to present it to those that can help us we are far better off. We are then joining others in meeting our needs, not relying on them to do it for us.
If you are the proverbial knight in shinning armor (again, not necessarily a guy), consider why you’re always placed in the position of rescuing. Who is caring for you? Many times we place so much energy and focus on saving others that we fall apart ourselves. Sometimes we focus on rescuing others to ignore or avoid the self and our own issues. Are you helping others with their needs out of an abundance of your own health, are you meeting others in a place of mutual need and shared responsibility, or are you neglecting your own shadows to tend for theirs. I would challenge you to consider your own internal needs, take the necessary steps within yourself and with others to care for them. Offer the gift of giving others support but space to sort through and met their own needs, offering help only when needed.