Love doesn’t complete you. You are complete. It’s important to understand and accept yourself as a complete, happy person before you look for love. Your husband will add on to your being and to your happiness, but he won’t complete you because you are not incomplete to begin with.
The expectation that you need to be loved to be whole usually grows inside when a person has been hurt by others they have trusted while growing up. Somehow, a feeling of being victimized gets fostered and thus, they feel the need to be “saved” or taken care of by another person. Due to the history and baggage carried over from childhood/adolescence, it’s not easy to snap out of this belief or way of thinking. Fortunately, it’s possible and an absolute must!
In adult life, love and marriage can be turned into an outlet for expressing this need. A woman may enter her marriage with expectations so high and unrealistic that no one can fulfill them. For example, she might want her husband to just know when and why she is upset – whether it is because of him or because of something that happened with her parents last month. She would also want him to remember important dates and wish her on time, or even give her gifts that are in line with her preferences. She may get hurt if he speaks to her in a manner different than the one she imagines, and the list goes on and on! These situations involve a whole lot of mind reading, and no one can do that.
Making another person responsible for your happiness is just unfair! This creates burden in the relationship, especially for your partner. In attempt to avoid hurting his wife or “making” her angry, a husband is constantly walking on eggshells. (Most of the time it’s pointless, as he still somehow manages to upset her!) Also, a wife’s relying on her husband in this manner is actually just handing him the control of her happiness. Both parties are tense, both parties are disappointed. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Thankfully, there are several ways to overcome this, alhamdulillah.
· BELIEVE. Believe in your ability to make yourself happy. Believe in the fact that you are complete and whole without your husband. Rely on yourself to accept the blessings Allah has given you.
· ACCEPT. If you’re married, give yourself the permission to wholly accept your husband. This means the side of him that pleases you and the side that has flaws. Remember that all humans have flaws, including you. Oh no!
· BALANCE. Complete each other in ways that create balance. Combine one’s strengths with another’s weakness so that you balance each other out. For example, if you are weak with directions and he’s a pro at reading maps, either let him drive or have him guide you along the route.
· BE CLEAR. You are both partners for life, especially when it comes to dealing with emotions. Don’t make it a one-sided responsibility to “fix” it, with the brunt of it falling on his shoulders. Help him help you. If you want undivided attention, tell him you want that. If you want him to listen and acknowledge your feelings without giving you solutions, explain that to him. If you want to go for a walk by yourself to refresh your mind, make that clear. Don’t forget that he’s not a mind reader!
· REACH OUT TO OTHERS. You can’t expect that your husband will be able to wear all the different “hats” and wear them well. There will be situations where he may not be able to help you or he is actually making things worse. If that’s the case, then rest assured that it’s perfectly okay to turn to someone else for a bit. Call your best girlfriend or someone that you can trust to understand your emotions. That way, you can feel better talking to them, instead of feeling worse because of your husband’s “insensitivity.”
In order to move forward in a positive direction, you must be conscious of your thoughts. It may take a bit of time to get used to it, but soon you will start to see a difference. Make your marriage, your relationships, your life a place that brings you happiness. It will only happen if and when you are ready for it.