Celebrating the 4th of July always brings to mind the word “independence”, and certain words always lead me to a new topic of conversation. However, some might not automatically associate the word independence with marriage. The reason we don’t frequently marry those two words is because a marriage includes two people who partner together and rely heavily on one another.
In any committed relationship, after so much time, roles become clearly defined. Certain roles in terms of managing the household and rearing of children fall on the shoulders of each spouse. The one who handles the particular task the best is the one who the other partner depends on to consistently carry it out. Sometimes we can count on that spouse so much we lose some of our independence in that area.
For example, in the beginning of my marriage, I seriously depended on my spouse. I didn’t obtain my driver’s license until I was an adult and because of that I was a little fearful. I spent a great number years being reluctant to drive. Then, the moment I became comfortable with driving, I had a car accident. Once again, my fear of driving returned. So basically I completely stopped driving and solely depended on my husband. I requested that he drive me everywhere. From children’s birthday parties, to shopping he was dropping off and picking up. Can you imagine how draining this must have been for him? I don’t even think I ever realized the impact my neediness and lack of independence had on him. This went on for a few years, until he finally started to gently push me in regaining my confidence in driving. Honestly, it was actually crippling to depend on him like that. It isn’t healthy to have that level of expectations on a spouse.
In an effort to assure our spouse of how much we may need them we sometimes lean so much on them we forget that we know how to do or to take care of things on our own. Just to give the other spouse a break from time to time, we should learn how to handle the tasks they normally own. Husbands should learn how to do their daughter’s hair (if they don’t already) wives should learn how to take care of the maintenance around the house and with the car (if they don’t already).
Relying too much on one spouse can be overwhelming and even stressful. It might be comforting to a spouse to know they are needed. But it also feels quite good to have a certain level of independence in your relationship.
BMWK, do you rely too much on your spouse in a certain area?