Do you wish your spouse was more helpful around the house? More loving? More affectionate? Maybe you want them to help with the kids more, or cuddle or flirt more? Why do we always want more than what we have? What happens when we get it? Find out on this week’s episode.
We all want MORE of something from our spouse. We want MORE of something in our lives.
Our brain is trained to look for what has gone wrong, what is lacking, where things could possibly hurt us physically or emotionally down the road. It’s doing it’s job and trying to keep us safe.
So when we see lack of something in our lives, in our marriage, or in our spouse our brain wants to try and protect us, so it puts us on high alert of how things are lacking and tells us that we need to have someone fix it so we don’t have to feel that way anymore.
So I want you to look at the things your brain is telling you is lacking in your marriage and in your spouse and what you need more of. Now, take out a piece of paper, or make a note in your phone and write down what you need more of.
- Do you want more money?
- One-on-one time?
- Help with the kids?
- Help around the house?
It could be any number of things. But I want you to write them all down. What you feel like you are lacking and what you want MORE of.
Ok, now I want you to take that list and write down how YOU can fill that need for yourself. How you can bring more of what you think is lacking to the marriage. Whatever it is that you want more of, you need to do yourself.
So let’s look at some examples.
Let’s say that you think you need more money to live comfortably. To have the things that you family wants and needs. And maybe this is about wanting bigger and better and nicer than what you currently have or maybe it’s just about getting basic needs met. But right now you feel like your husband doesn’t make enough money or he spends too much money or maybe it’s even you that spends too much and so you just don’t have enough and you want more.
You can definitely have a conversation with your husband about places where you can cut back, or maybe he can get a second job or ask for a raise. But when we talk about meeting our own needs in marriage, if YOU think you need MORE, then you need to meet that need for yourself. Maybe that is through your husband, but maybe it’s not. Maybe you need to get a job. Maybe you need to spend less. But whatever you want more of, you need to do for yourself.
Do you want more peace in your life and in your marriage? Right now your brain probably tells you that your husband is doing something so that you can’t feel peace. But we know that isn’t true. In order to feel peace, you need to think thoughts that bring you peace. This will create peaceful actions and give you more peace in your home and in your marriage. If you are bringing more peace to the marriage you will naturally create a more peaceful atmosphere that will translate to more peace in your home.
Last week’s podcast on acceptance touched on a lot of nerves. I had one person reach out to me saying that she wishes her soon-to-be-ex husband would accept her for who she is. But, by her “wishing” that he would accept her, she isn’t accepting him. If you want acceptance, you have to bring it yourself. We want MORE from our spouses, but that isn’t accepting them for who they are.
Help around the house and with the kids
I hear a lot from clients that they wish their spouse helped out more around the house and with the kids. Again, you can ask (and not expect) them to help, but if you’ve tried that, and it’s not happening then you need to meet that need for yourself.
Hire someone to help clean. And it doesn’t need to be a cleaning lady. You could hire your kids, you could hire a neighbor girl, or get a good friend to help you and then you help her.
You can hire someone to help with the kids, or do a swap with a friend, so that you can get a break.
But what I’m saying is, if you feel like you need MORE of something, don’t expect your spouse to meet that need for you, you need to meet it for yourself.
What if you want more sex in your marriage? What if you want sex and your spouse doesn’t ever want it? How can you meet that need for yourself? You have to define what that looks like for you and your marriage. Some people will go outside of their marriage (which probably isn’t going to help things, but that is how they meet this desire.) Some spouses agree that masturbation is ok practice in their marriage. You have to make that choice for yourself. How can you LOVINGLY bring that desire for more sex to your marriage? If it’s just that you want sex more frequently, maybe you need to initiate more. You still might get turned down, but you might have sex more frequently than if you don’t initiate it.
Your brain loves to solve problems. But so many times when we don’t have an answer immediately we say “I don’t know” and this gives our brain permission to just shut down. It shuts off our access to our own wisdom. Instead of saying “I don’t know” I want you to ask your brain that if it did know the answer what would it be? Then it will go to work to try and find an answer for you.
I have an example of this that just happened. It’s not marriage related, but it shows how you can put your brain to work for you.
We have purchased a new house but it’s going to need some renovating before we move in. We are going to be completely gutting the kitchen, changing the layout, and putting in new cabinets. The current house has no dining area, so we’ve somehow got to incorporate a dining area into this already tiny kitchen. I’ve measured the kitchen and drawn up several renditions of how to make this kitchen work and I’ve just struggled. My brain wants to keep telling me it’s impossible to have a decent kitchen and a dining area. But I keep telling my brain I just haven’t thought of a good solution yet. On Tuesday, it was mine and Kevin’s anniversary. We went to dinner and then we rented a movie to watch, but on the way home from dinner we stopped at Home Depot to look at their cabinets and appliances. I picked up a few brochures and as we drove home I was looking through them. I saw a picture and something clicked and I knew exactly how I could fit our dining room table plus add more cabinets and storage to the kitchen….built in bench seating! This was the perfect answer and one that my brain had been searching for. But if I had told my brain it just wasn’t possible and I didn’t know how I could make it work, I don’t think I would have been inspired by this picture.
Your brain is an amazingly powerful tool. You can find fun and creative ways to get MORE out of your marriage if you put your brain to work for you. Remember, that whatever you think you need MORE of from your spouse and your marriage, you are totally capable of creating that on your own.
If I want more love, I need to show more love,
If I want more money, I need to find a way to make more or spend less
If I want more peace, I need to bring a sense of a peace and calm to my marriage
If I want more attention, I need to give my spouse more attention
If I want me help, I need to find a way to get more help (and it doesn’t need to be from my spouse).
You can not expect your spouse to fill your needs. You can not expect them to be different than they are. The more you expect, the more resentful you will feel when those needs are not met. But when you meet your own needs, when you yourself bring to the marriage what you feel is lacking, you will always feel more of it. Because you can’t actually feel any of those things FROM another person. They are created inside you.
Do you really want it?
“A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it.”
― Lionel Shriver, Checker and the Derailleurs
I love this quote, because it makes you really think about what you want. Do you really want your husband to be more involved in the kids? Will he wanting things done his way? Will he have less attention for you?
Do you really want him to make more money? Will that mean he’s working longer hours and away from the family more?
There are always consequences when we change things….good and bad. We just may not know or understand what those consequences will be for the things we want more of.
What happens when we get what we want?
So what happens when you get what you want? Remember, the only reason we ever want anything is because of how we THINK it will make us feel. So if your husband helps out around the house more then you’ll be happy? Or if he validates you more THEN you’ll reeled worthy? I highly doubt it. The problem comes when we get what we want and we still don’t feel the way we thought we’d feel. It’s that grass is always greener on the other side mentality. Guaranteed that you’ll find some other thing that you want your spouse to be MORE of.
Wanting more without needing more
Mary Ellen Edmunds said “Wanting less is probably a better blessing than having more.”
Is it possible to want more of something while still be grateful for what you already have. Absolutely. This is wanting from a place of abundance rather than a place of scarcity. It’s wanting from a place of gratitude instead of a place of lack. It’s actually the best kind of wanting. And wanting something is different than needing it. Do you NEED it to be happy? Nope. You can totally be happy without MORE. Because happiness comes from your thoughts. Happiness is always available to you. Just like love is always available to you. Love is always an option.