Many marriages today are challenged because of the feeling one or both people in the marriage have of being deprived of love. Somehow, one or both people become self-centered and self-absorbed and either don’t know how their partner feels or don’t rank it high in importance. I urge you to read this blog post 1) from the standpoint of examining YOURSELF, THEN 2) from the standpoint of examining your mate. I say this because it’s always easier to think “he’s doing this wrong and I’m doing this right.” I want you to challenge yourself. I want you to look at what you do right AND wrong. THEN, don’t look at your mate in terms of right and wrong, but in terms of what you need from him and HOW you need it.
The Holy Bible tells us that “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband…. Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire.” 1 Corinthians 7: 3, 5 (AMP)
We need to be more in tune to what our mate needs instead of what we THINK he needs (the same thing for men about their wives). What ranks high in importance for many husbands is sex. So, many times, they mistakenly believe that for their wives sex ranks just as high and as long as sex is happening, surely she is content. Um, not necessarily. What ranks higher than sex for many of us is AFFECTION (and romance wouldn’t hurt either). So, when we don’t get affection—the bear hugs, the caresses, the gentle pecks, long meaningful embraces, the forehead kisses, etc.—then many of us tend to feel love deprived. We just aren’t getting what we need emotionally from our men.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s excellent to have the bills paid. It’s fantastic to be married to someone who’s faithful and a great father. But there is nothing that can replace that emotional connection, that feeling of being safe, truly loved and cherished. And, let’s face it, the scripture is right when it suggests that when needs aren’t met this gives Satan the opportunity to tempt one to sin and cause damage in your marriage.
It’s like food. The body needs food. If the grocer refuses to sell a person food, the body will seek to be fed elsewhere. In marriage, it’s the responsibility of each person to make sure s/he is meeting the needs (physical AND emotional) of her/his spouse. If the husband needs sex, companionship, and domestic support, then that’s what the wife should provide. Likewise, if the wife needs affection, romance, and financial support, that’s what the husband should give—lest each be tempted to get their needs fulfilled elsewhere.
I’ve spoken to a man who stated that he didn’t meet his wife’s needs because she upset and disappointed him. What she did was not irreparable, by any measure, but he nonetheless withheld affection as a way of punishing her, stating that she didn’t deserve affection. Needless-to-say, this has caused a huge rift in their marriage. She continues to be a good wife (not perfect, but her daily goal has been to be virtuous), but she now feels emotionally distant from him due to his depriving her of the love she needs. To this day, his self-righteous indignation continues to be a growing wedge in their marriage and he doesn’t realize the opening he could be giving Satan to interfere in their marriage.
There is something I would like for you to do: If you are getting your emotional and sexual needs met, get with your husband and pray with him and thank God for each other. If, however, you feel love deprived, get with your husband. I suggest each of you write a list of your own needs. Take about 5 minutes. Exchange the lists. If there is something to talk about, then talk about it for purposes of clarification, not as an excuse to attack each other. Then pray over the lists together and pray for the two of you to be open, willing, and obedient to God’s word. Then each of you should post the other one’s list in a place where you will see it and be cognizant of the needs until they are met on a consistent basis.
Remember, withholding sex and affection should NEVER be used as punishment in a marriage. Be godly adults and talk it out, work it out.
Be sure to check out my book: Grown & Virtuous: 28 Simple Lessons To Unveil the Spiritual Diva In You