Won Without Words
winning the marriage you desire through wisdom

Shari Popejoy


March 19, 2012

I’m Not Needy — I Just Have Needs

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Written by: Shari Popejoy
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Today, we’re going to practice yesterday’s tip; we’re going to identify what we want from our husband, and we’re going to ask for it!

Express your needs with confidence they will be met

This is such an important skill in marriage that I want to devote an extra day to it. Let’s read James 4:1 again:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? . . .You want something but don’t get it. . . You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Much of the quarreling in marriage is caused by unexpressed needs. What is something you have been needing lately? Have you told your husband?

Please don’t equate having needs with being weak.  The happiest people are the ones who recognize their needs and unashamedly pursue them.  Life does not grant you a reward for suffering silently and simmering in sullen strength. It’s okay to have needs. It’s okay to express those needs. It’s okay to ask your husband to meet your needs.

Recognizing that you have needs is not the same thing as being needy. You need to have a healthy relationship.  A healthy relationship needs strong partners.  Strong partners recognize their needs before they become overpowering urges, irrational appetites, uncontainable neurosis, or dysfunctional desires.

Maybe you need something as simple as a quiet bath while he puts the children to bed tonight.  Don’t be like that woman who waits until her last nerve is as frazzled as her frowzy hair, raving maniacally in her tattered robe while the children huddle behind him in the hallway.

Identify your need.  What do you really want?   A nice quiet bath, with a scented candle, listening to some beautiful music for thirty minutes is a reasonable and worthy request.

Now take a moment to picture what you don’t want.

  • You don’t want to make your husband defensive by reminding him that you have put the children to bed for a straight 878 nights, multiplied by three children, making it like (quick math estimate) 487,283 — or something — requests for one more drink.
  • You don’t make him feel guilty or confused about what you really want.
  • You don’t want to end the evening arguing over who works the most.
  • Don’t bring up his mother, or his hobbies, or his annoying habits!

It’s just about your desire for a quiet bath.  And could a tired woman live without a bath?  Certainly.  She could go for days in that frowzy robe if she had to. . . that would teach them. . . .but why should she punish herself (and everyone)?!  Women need bathtime!

So, you simply, without blame or guilt (or the tone) express your need with confidence that he will meet it.  He really does want to please you.  He loves to be the hero.  Let him be the hero.  And, of course, praise him as he deserves!

It’s a win/win situation.  She gets a bath. He gets to be the hero!  And who knows what other benefits await when she steps out of that tub, rested, relaxed, emotionally and physically refreshed, smelling wonderfully sweet, feeling beautiful and bubbly — and the cherubic children all asleep in their beds in the quiet darkness!

You deserve a bath. . . or whatever!

About the Author

Shari Popejoy
Shari Popejoy is the author of the book Won Without Words, and the blog Won Without Words, encouragement to wives. She writes the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for young people, and the blog Oh Joy!, (injoyinc.com/oh/) for busy moms. She is a frequent contributor to Christian print and online magazines, and writes from the quiet country of the Ozarks, where she lives with her husband, Marc, and their three children. You can find out all about her at sharipopejoy.com!


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