Yesterday’s post took a lot out of me. It was so fascinating to me. I “rumbled” with ideas and with stories … until 2am.

Let’s look at something slightly lighter today – MARRIAGE MATTERS MONDAY.

Probably the number one issue I’ve personally had in our nearly-perfect marriage πŸ™‚ is wanting and expecting Bryant to meet certain needs for me.

Other than our basic needs for survival – food, water, clothing, etc etc – our needs are generally feelings that we want to feel. We need to feel loved and valuable, inspired, connected, etc.

We are seeking a feeling.

I have always wanted Bryant to meet my need for spiritual intimacy. I want to discuss the scriptures together and inspire each other and really connect in that way. I have, at times, asked him do the things that I thought would meet this need in me.

So, when Bry sits in bed and reads scriptures with me before we fall asleep, that’s lovely, but is he doing it because he really wants to discuss scriptures in bed with me – because he is who I think I want him to be – or is it because he is trying to keep me happy?

Remember the labrador in last Monday’s MARRIAGE MATTERS?

Will I really be happier, will I really have my needs met, if my labrador is trying to be a dalmatian for me?

“And when we try to turn our spouse into someone other than who they are, so that we can feel better, it’s not drawing us closer as a couple.”

Listen to this:

“Anything that you think you want or need from your spouse … there is always a feeling behind it that you are seeking. Step one is to identify what that is.”

Okay. Let’s do some thought-work. If my need is spiritual intimacy, what is the feeling behind the need? I think I am looking for the feeling of being inspired, and hoping Bryant could be that inspiration to me, in the one way that I want him to inspire me. Does that make sense?

Ultimately I am only going to feel inspired, if I choose to be inspired on my own – if I look for inspiration in people and situations.

He could sit in bed and read scriptures with me, and that may give me the feeling of being inspired, if he does it the way I want him to do it, and if I choose to be inspired. OR I can choose to be inspired whether or not he sits in bed and reads scriptures with me. I could choose to be inspired by the kind and honest life he is living, day in and day out.

Do you see how feeling inspired is ultimately my choice – it’s my responsibility to feel that feeling, if that is a need that I have.

Jody Moore used an instragram clip by Will Smith to strengthen her point. It’s so good. I’ve watched it three or four times now. And I sent it to my friends. And my husband. And even my unmarried sister.

“You cannot make a person happy… You can make a person smile, you can make a person laugh, but whether or not a person is happy is deeply and totally and utterly out of your control. I remember the day that I retired. I literally said to Jada, ‘That’s it. I retire. I retire from trying to make you happy. I need you to go and make yourself happy.'”

Will Smith

Our feelings come from our thoughts, not from other people’s behavior. We are really the only ones who can meet our needs. And when we try to get others to meet those needs, we get manipulative or even just frustrated when it doesn’t work.

Jody talked about a woman, a client, who complained bitterly, “I work so hard, all day long, to make him happy. And he comes home and complains about the one thing I hadn’t done right.”

Jody said, “Work hard all day long to make YOU happy!”

“And (if you) do things that your spouse requests of you, if you want to (do it) because that is who you want to be … don’t do it to try and make them happy. I love and care for my husband, because that’s who I want to be. And then he might choose to be happy as a result of that. But he may not.”

Now, Bryant may choose to sit up in bed, before we fall asleep, and share with me a scripture he had read that day. He may choose to do that because he loves me – because that is the kind of spouse that he wants to be. But HE feels the love he is offering me. HE gets to feel that love – it is a reward to HIM for offering it! Not me. I only get to feel that love and that inspiration from him if I choose to think thoughts about him that lead me to that emotion.

I get to feel the love when I offer that love. It is then a reward to ME. And he can choose to feel my love or not. But when I give love, I am the one who gets to feel that emotion. Does this make sense? Read it again. Make sure this makes sense.

Okay. I love it. I’m signing off.


1 Comment

  1. […] Remember Will Smith? […]

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