Do You Feel Used In Your Marriage?
We give ourselves in marriage, but we should not feel taken advantage of by those who are supposed to love us.
Yes/No: I do not feel used by my spouse.
Why Does This Issue Matter?
In marriage, we are to sacrifice for one another. In a healthy relationship, this is a reciprocal act where both partners give to one another without seeking something in return. The mutual work and submission nourish the relationship. However, in unhealthy relationships, one party stops giving. At this moment the marriage stops being one of equality and instead becomes an interaction of a giver and a taker. Feeling used is often an early warning sign that something is wrong.
What If You Said Yes (4 or 5 on the assessment)?
If neither spouse feels used by the other then you have created a mutually fulfilling relationship where both individuals are giving of themselves for the well-being of the whole. You maintain this type of relationship by continually sacrificing for your spouse, clearly communicating your needs, and each one attempting to out serve the other. If you answered 4 on the assessment, it is likely a sign that there is a specific area or two in which you feel as though the workload is not balanced. Have quarterly conversations to ensure that the scales aren't tipping too far toward one person doing more of the work than the other.
What If You Said No (0 through 3 on the assessment)?
Feeling used by your spouse is a signfiicant red flag. While a healthy marriage demands sacrifice, it doesn't feel like sacrifice when you are recieving as much as you are giving. Anytime a spouse feels used, that feeling beings to erode any trust, respect, and vunerability present in the relationship. While individuals can sometimes endure decades of this feeling, there shouldn't be a day that goes by in which feeling used is present. The presence of this feeling requires work. Can you clearly communicate why you feel used? Has this always been the case? Can you describe a time in your relationship where you didn't feel this way? How can both of you take steps to make sure this feeling is not present?
Article: Are You Being Used and Not Loved?
Article: Healthy Families Can Talk About Everything
Book: Happily by Kevin A. Thompson