“Doc, I just need to get married!”
That’s right. Misty shouted these words out, with a tone of desperation in her voice. Sounds legitimate, some kind of relief to her problems. About the time her face cleared up, her mind with her words got fuzzy. And her eyes, a little misty, at least.
If I’m not your therapist, you’d know what I think of marriage. You who know me personally outside of my vocation already know what I’d be prompted to say more. No need to add to what you’ve heard from me, right? Or, is there I must explain further? Maybe so. Something along a point why too many marriages are in trouble today!
What can be underneath Misty’s desperate “need to get married?” Her hidden, unexpressed root needs could be much more likely to be loneliness, financial security, emotional nurturing, or unfulfilled sexual desires. She believed that if she gets married, her husband will automatically accept her, love her, and meet all her needs. The truth is, it’s never the case of any spouse – at least not in a lasting or adequate way.
Misty is typical of so many today – whether single, never married, solo parent, divorced, or even the already-married. In most cases, marriage is a “me-centered” piece of thought. It’s perceived as a solution to one’s personal needs in order to be happy and fulfilled. A person looks for a spouse to meet all his or her needs. In other words, be the source of emotional, financial, sexual, physical, material, psychological, and even spiritual provisions.
The reality is that in marriage, some of your needs can be met and you’re able to meet some of the needs of the other person. No fellow human being – no matter how wealthy, noble, or fantastic – is capable of fully meeting all the needs and expectations of another person. And no fellow human being should expect another fellow human being to meet all of his or her needs. And yet, many people who “needs to get married” are looking for precisely that – the opposite of reality.
Life is more than marriage. No one says you must be married to be whole. You don’t need to be married to be joyful or experience a full life. Don’t believe the movies! If you are under the impression that a spouse or another human being can meet all the needs of another person, I suggest you reexamine your position.
Marriage is not the need or goal. Wholeness is.