A few days ago I was getting ready to clean my home while my kids lay sound asleep. It was late, so my husband was sleeping as well. I decided some company would be nice so I pulled out a DVD of The Best Man Holiday and started watching while I cleaned my floors.
There’s a part in the film where Nia Long’s man is leaving town and as they say their goodbyes he tells her that sometimes he feels like she doesn’t need him. Her response was, “I don’t.” Well dag, Nia. That was harsh. I know it’ a movie and all, but I felt the sting from that comment. Who wants to feel like the person they love doesn’t even need them.
Do you need your man?
This issue isn’t new. For years I’ve heard debates about whether or not a woman needs a man. It’s an interesting debate for a number of reasons, but mainly because having to say you need someone is tough for many women, and especially tough for Black women.
We are proud of our ability to hold things down without help from anyone and having to say you need someone feels like a sign of weakness. I can understand the feeling because I grew up in a single parent household and my mother did everything. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but she did it—and she did it all alone.
But is expressing that you need your man a sign of weakness? Are you weak if your man is walking around certain that you need him? Listen, I am all about being an independent woman. I have two degrees and I have been working since I was 14.
Sure, if I had to, I could manage on my own. But my husband knows that. It’s one of the reasons he married me and decided to start a family with me. He wanted the mother of his children to hold things down if anything ever happened to him.
But my ability to handle my business is not a reason to tell my husband I don’t need him, because I do. And I’m not weak for saying it. I need him in my life. If I didn’t, I’d still be alone.
And sure, I would be fine if he wasn’t in the picture. I would keep on living my life. But I would also be fine if a lot of other things in my life disappeared. The loss wouldn’t kill me; it would just make life more difficult.
Why is being needed so important
At a very basic level, all human beings want to feel needed. It’s why parents struggle with empty nest syndrome when their kids leave the home. It’s why people feel lost and confused when they lose a job they’ve had for years. It’s why relationships suffer when one person refuses to rely on the other for anything. We all want to feel needed.
When you are in a relationship and you feel like your mate needs you, it makes you feel like you contribute something meaningful to the relationship. Being needed makes you feel valued.
Without that feeling, you can be left wondering why your mate even stays with you. After all, if you are always being told you aren’t needed, you start to question your role and how much you matter.
Men especially need to feel like you need them. Your man knows who you are and what you are capable of. He doesn’t need a constant reminder and how much you don’t need him. What he needs is some validation.
He needs to know that even though you could manage on your own, you want and need him in your life. When men feel needed, it confirms that they add value to your relationship, and honestly, anyone in a relationship wants to feel valued.
Being an independent woman who needs her man
Needing my husband doesn’t change anything about who I am at my core. I’m still the educated, strong-willed, independent girl from Brooklyn that he met years ago. I still have what it takes to survive and thrive on my own. And, because I’ve been consistent, my husband knows who he’s dealing with. He also knows that I need him. He knows that he adds value to my life in a remarkable way.
You see, needing something doesn’t mean you will die without it. It just means that being without it hurts. It means if you had to make a choice daily, you would always choose to have that need met. It’s not an admission of weakness.
Actually, I think it speaks to a woman’s strength if she can say she needs her man. If you stand tall in who you are, and what you can do, telling your man you need him doesn’t take away from any of that.
BMWK ladies, does your man know you need him?