I used to make my living as a counselor, mostly marriage counseling. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “I still love him, but I am not in love with him.” Translation: I married him to get my relational needs met. When we dated I loved being around him and he made me feel good about myself. He doesn’t do that any more.” Now they are talking divorce.
Here is the deal … If you marry someone for the selfish reason of he or she is going to meet all of your relational needs for the rest of your life, your marriage does not stand a chance. He has never met your needs. You were so excited about the needs he did meet you were willing to let some others slide. That won’t last long.
You are not in love. You just love the way he makes you feel, sometimes. And for many, it’s just the feeling of not being lonely any more. Sadly, you can actually feel more lonely when you are married than you do when you are single. There is nothing more lonely feeling than laying in a bed with someone you no longer feel connected with. You feel trapped, and you seem to be out of “make me feel good” options.
Major before you get married Rule #1: No person can meet all the relational needs of an other person. If that is the expectation, the marriage is doomed from the night you met.
Only God can meet your relational needs. If you rely on God to love you and meet your needs, then you can give away the love He gives you and focus more on meeting the needs of your spouse. If he lives by the same principle, he will be focusing on loving you and meeting your needs while God meets his, and the odds of a long successful marriage are greatly in your favor.
Here is what God offers. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
It is amazing how much love you can give away when you have the peace of mind that can only come from God. It is the kind of peace of mind that is not dependent on circumstances but transcends any situation you face. relationally, financially, physically.
And let me tell you something. When you are giving away that kind of unselfish and nonmanipulated love, you will get love in return from your spouse and God will meet the feelings you have for relational needs.
How are relationships going for you? Shift the focus. Let God meet your needs and give away love, support, respect.
It will pay off and it will last forever.