Do You Feel Supported In Your Marriage?
Reassurance is a basic human need that healthy couples meet for one another.
Yes/No: If I need reassurance from my partner, I can easily get it.
Why Is This Issue Important?
When a child is small no one hesitates in recognizing the need of that child to be reassured by his parents. It would be parental neglect if both mom and dad failed to continually assure the child of their presence, the child's well-being, and encouraged them to grow, mature, and explore. But we get one thing wrong. We assume that need is tied to immaturity rather than humanity. It's not because the child is small that they need reassurance; it's because they are human. We never lose the need to be encouraged, supported, and reassured. Healthy couples recognize the power of their presence, words, and touch. They give and receive reassurance in a powerful way. Unhealthy couples lack this ability.
What If You Said Yes?
Take full advantage of what you have. Reassurance allows us to try new things, take appropriate risks, and recover from setbacks quickly. Allow this skill to empower you to grow individually and as a couple. Be careful to make sure you reciprocate the reassurance. Little children aren't meant to reassure their parents. The relationship is rightly one-sided. A couple must make sure the reassurance doesn't become one-sided. If it does, the marriage should become a parent/child relationship. As long as you steer clear of a one-sided relationship and continue to grow in your ability to reassure one another, there is no limit to what you can accomplish as a couple.
What If You Said No?
This statement is two sided. Some cannot get reassurance from their partner. In that case, the spouse either doesn't recognize the nature of humanity and our need for reassurance or they fail to think beyond themselves enough to give to their spouse what is needed. Both scenarios are a problem. If this is the case, it will be difficult for the husband/wife to grow in this area without professional help. It's like learning to read, it's hard to learn on your own. For most, they can get reassurance, it just takes a good amount of protest to get it. Until they act out, they can't receive what they need. This is a troublesome pattern, but one that can be improved. If spouses don't "easily" give reassurance, they need to be reminded of their need, learn to identify the signals each is sending to communicate distress, and find the most effective way to communicate encouragement to one another. If you fall in the latter category, have several conversations of times in which you felt reassured and other times you needed it but did not get it. Discuss common sayings and signals which demonstrate your need. Grow in your ability to identify distress in your spouse.
Book: Love Sense by Sue Johnson
Book: Fearless Families by Kevin A. Thompson