The Absolute Worst Relationship Advice Ever Given
For those of you who’ve read our ScreamFree Marriage book, you probably aren’t surprised I would pick this as the worst relationship advice ever:
“Marriage is all about meeting each other’s needs.”
No idea has sent more spouses down the path toward resentment and ruin like this one.
The gist is this: Wives have “needs” that can only be met by their husband, like love, protection, validation, and security. Husbands, meanwhile, have “needs” that can only be met by their wives, like respect, cheerleading, and of course, sex. So, the best marriages are logically the ones in which both spouses most successfully meet the needs of the other.
This teaching is so prevalent, and seems to make so much sense, because we’ve been mistaking “need” for “love” in our songs and movies forever:
- “I need you like the rain…”
- “Baby, I can’t live without you.”
- “I never heard you say ‘I need you,’ so I don’t need you now.”
I’ve always told my kids if a boy/girl ever says something like that, tell ‘em this: “Well, it’s a good thing my dad’s a therapist, ‘cos we can get you the help you really need.”
Needy attachment you can’t live without is not romantic, it’s diagnosable.
And the truth is you don’t need your spouse. Sure, you choose to blend your lives so much you’re dependent upon each other to do things to support your life together, but that doesn’t mean you truly need each other.
You could actually live quite okay without each other; what makes marriage great is that you prefer not to. Each of you chose to commit your lives to one another, and that choosing is based on a voluntary desire. In the best marriages, you don’t need each other—you want each other.
My wife does not validate me as a man; I do that myself. That way, I can bring my confident self to love her, give to her, and share with her, with or without her returning the favor. This brings freedom, strength, and desire to the forefront.
Peace begins with pause,