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  • Kevin A. Thompson

When You Need Your Spouse, Are They There For You?

The ability to access your spouse when you need them is a vital aspect of a healthy relationship.


Yes/No: When I need my spouse, I can lean on them for reassurance and connection.


Why Does This Issue Matter?

One of the great modern misconceptions about marriage and humanity is the belief that adults shouldn't need reassurance. Everyone understands that a toddler needs to know their parent is there for them as the child explores their world. Knowing his parent is nearby for support and safety empowers the child to take risks and venture into new territory. Yet, we wrongly assume that the need for support and reassurance is something we outgrow. It is not. Everyone needs reassurance and connection. When we know our spouse is there for us, it empowers us to endure hardship, take healthy risks, and express the fullness of who we are.


What If You Said Yes (4-5 on the scale)?

If you are confident that your spouse is there for you when you need them, take full advantage of what is offered to you. Don't hesitate to seek reassurance and connection when you need it. And don't hesitate to return that gift to your spouse. While it's true that we don't want to become "needy," don't hesitate from being human. As humans, we need reassurance and connection with others. Recognize that at times connection is broken. Don't hesitate to reach out to reconnect and to be reassured by your spouse.


What If You Said No (0-3 on the scale)?

If you cannot lean on your spouse for reassurance and connection, something needs to change. In many cases, this is both a cause and a symptom of trust being broken. The absence of trust likely is eroding feelings of respect as well. No matter how much we value someone's mind or abilities, if we do not trust them to use those strengths for our benefit, we struggle to respect them as people. The good news is that learning to lean on one another for reassurance and connection is a skill that can be learned. A couple can recognize the need, learn to communicate, understand how to properly respond to one another, and develop a strong bond of support. It takes time, but it is well worth the effort. On many occasions, a couple needs assistance from a third party in recognizing what they are doing (or not doing) to create their current feelings of distrust and disrespect.


Related Resources:

Article: Act, Don't Think, Your Way to a Better Marriage

Article: When Your Marriage Feels Like You Just Co-Exist

Book: Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson

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