This is not talked about enough. So I’m going to talk about it.
You could be completely satisfied at the moment, but that doesn’t mean your spouse is. All of your needs could be met, but maybe not your spouse’s. It doesn’t have to be something huge or catastrophic. But it could turn into a bigger problem if needs are ignored or unfulfilled for long enough.
If your spouse is comfortable enough to tell you what they feel, need, and want, AND they do it effectively; you should consider yourself lucky. If your spouse is comfortable receiving your thoughts and concerns when positive and negative, AND is actually receptive to all these things, you should consider yourself lucky. Communication is one of the biggest barriers in marriage and relationships. It’s not always easy to communicate what you are feeling inside to someone else, especially if it’s something negative to someone you don’t want to hurt.
I’ve touched on the Five Love Languages and the fact that you need to love your person the way they need to be loved, not the way you think they need to be loved. You can give someone a thousand roses but it doesn’t make a difference if all they need is one tulip.
This goes the same way with personal needs.
You might not need the same things your spouse does, so it is very important to remember to fulfill your spouse’s needs. You might be the only one that can provide them with what they need. Whether that be affection, help around the house, intimacy, a hand with the kids/pets, sex, or just a listening ear; you could seriously be the only one to give them that. The things I just mentioned are pretty much things you can only help each other with. When you need a little extra help with housework, you can’t call up your best friend and expect them to come over to vacuum. If you are stressed as heck and need a break from the toddlers, you can’t expect the kids to feed and bathe themselves. If you are in need of some serious sexual attention, there is only one person in the world you can go to for that.
Can you not tell what your spouse needs? Pay attention. They might not come right out and say what it is; they might let you know in other ways and hope that you can see it. Like I said, if you are told exactly what is needed in an effective manner, that is awesome. Not everyone is like that, though. Maybe they think you already know what they need. If not, ask them what they need. How will we ever know if we don’t ask? How will they ever know if we aren’t honest and speaking our needs? It’s necessary to have these conversations. Whether they tell you outright what they need or you have to ask, once you know what it is you need to deliver. There is nothing worse than asking for something and it being blatantly disregarded. Try to do what is being asked of you and make effort to eradicate an issue.
Flipping all of this the other way, you can’t bite your tongue if you’re not getting what you need. There is nothing wrong with needing something; help, affection, someone to talk to, sex. It’s important you speak up in order to get what you need. You may think it’s obvious, but it very well might not be. No one can read your mind. How can you expect your spouse to help if they aren’t even aware you need it? If your spouse loves you and wants to make you happy, they will step it up and deliver. Be honest and patient.
Listen, watch, inquire, and deliver. Speak up, be honest, and be patient. Too many relationships fail because of lack of communication. The sad truth is that people begin to stray when their needs aren’t being met. Paying attention to each other and fulfilling one other’s needs is a huge part in any relationship. Paying attention is respecting each other. It keeps people together and happy. Once attention isn’t being given somewhere, one will search for it elsewhere. It’s in our nature, unfortunately. Take care of each other, fulfill each other’s needs, and communicate. For the sake of your relationship and lives together. Be what the other needs when they need it. You’ll go so far. Just some advice I find useful in a time where cheating is so incredibly common and communication is so incredibly not. It’s ugly, but it’s the truth.