We all have needs. At times we may become irritated or disappointed with our spouse for not meeting our needs. Most spouses want to meet these needs. Too often we do a very poor job of communicating what we need to our spouse. Here are some ways to begin to make some changes in this area.
Take responsibility for yourself. It is simply not reasonable to expect something from your spouse if you have not asked or clarified what it is you neAsking for what you needed.
Be self-aware. Examine your needs. What needs do you have that only God is able to meet? What needs do you have that are appropriate for your spouse to meet realizing God has given you to one another to help meet those needs.
Be ready. Be ready with a response when asked. Rather than a shrug of the shoulders or responding with “I’m fine,” think about your needs.
Be specific. Do not be vague with your spouse. Do not make this a guessing game because you both will lose. “I need your patience today because I am struggling to focus.” “I need some humor right now because this week has been heavy.” “I need a black raspberry chip ice cream from Graeter’s.” Being specific increases the likelihood of receiving what you need.
Give yourself permission. It is easier on your spouse. It can be a relief to know what you need.
Stop guilt. Some of us struggle with feeling guilty about asking for what we need as if it is wrong. Jesus teaches us to come to him and ask. That does not mean we receive what we ask for. Come with a honest heart not a demanding one.
Everyone has needs, but not everyone takes responsibility to consider what they need and ask. How we ask is important. Do not play games, manipulate, or assume roles of victim or martyr. If we choose not to ask, then it is not okay to pout, complain, or regret that you did not get what you needed.