I Just Want to Feel Needed
If your marriage is going downhill because you don't feel needed, maybe you can stop it.
Remember to Expect Love from your partner in marriage. In other words, don't expect other things and thereby overlook the love you long for.
For example, some folks profess their love with words like "I cannot live without you." And they mean it. Or they believe they do: death by broken heart is actually rather rare. But the important thing to remember here is that these are the words of someone who loves with words. The generous person who loves with gifts or the helpful person who loves by helping won't feel loving saying such a thing, even if they feel they need you.
And they will stop doing their thing if it isn't working because you are waiting for these words.
So, maybe you don't want such over-the-top words. What you want is a little gratitude for all you do. This expectation is still a bit of premeditated resentment if gratitude is difficult for your spouse or if you two are locked in a competition to be the more helpful one. For you to feel needed, your spouse must feel needy, no? Maybe what he or she most needs is some relief from that feeling.
Maybe by now you're yelling at me through your computer or smart phone. You don't need the words. You don't need a fancy thank you. What you need is some sign you are needed, some hint you are not disposable, some guarantee you are doing enough to prevent your husband or wife from walking out the door, some inkling that all the effort you are putting in will not be for naught.
And I feel for you. I've been there. It's scary. It's awful. It's vulnerable.
And the only way out is to come, ever so slowly, to the realization that it is an impossible wish that is eating you alive.
No matter how great a husband or wife you are, there is no way to be good enough to guarantee your love will never be rejected. No way.
You must learn to love without this guarantee.
You are needed. Your money, your decorating savvy, your bug squashing, your laundry washing, your incredible sex moves may be needed. But the one thing you can be certain your spouse needs from you is your love.
And you cannot truly love while you are telling yourself you are not needed just because your mate has not announced you are.
Welcome to vulnerable, the place where the best marriages happen.