When two halves don’t make a whole…
I have heard it time and time again. Couples come into my office for a premarital appointment and I ask them to tell me their love story. Somewhere in there and in so many words, they tell me how they found their other half and now they are complete.
As Jerry Maguire would say, “You complete me.”
Only… not really. It’s not the truth. I’m sorry to burst the mushy-gushy bubble. It’s a sweet romantic notion to dream about though. I’ll admit that I used to dream about it myself!
There is a problem with that school of thought though. And to be honest, I never quite considered it until I was knee deep in unmet expectations that I didn’t even realize I had!
What’s the problem with it?
It’s a lot of pressure to put on someone else to be everything you need them to be, in order to complete you. It just is.
TOO. MUCH. PRESSURE.
As people, we are fallible.
Completely and utterly fallible. There is no way around imperfection, as hard as we try to strive for perfection. With that being said, there is no way on the planet that someone can totally fulfill ALL of what you need, 100% of the time. So, if it is not possible, then what happens with those expectations you didn’t realize you ever had?
The letdown. The heartbreak. The hurt. Loss of trust. Then the arguing. Discontent. Insecurity. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Wow! That went downhill really fast!
Complete snowball effect! Do you hear the avalanche coming?
Two become one.
Not two-halves become one.
If two halves go into marriage, they don’t make a whole,
they make hell.
Yeah. Not a pretty sight. Especially considering avalanches tend to bury things… or people. Avalanches crush and trap. Get the picture?
Nope. Not pretty.
What happens when you realize that your spouse doesn’t complete you after all?
What do you do? How do you recover?
How do you find wholeness, when you feel so … broken?
Well, the easy answer is you crawl into a little ball, cry for days or weeks on end, and give up on your spouse.
No. Don’t do that.
The hard answer is you work on your heart. You take it to the feet of Jesus. You work on your brokenness. You work on healing the hurt and anger, resolving the unforgiveness you have tucked away, lower the expectations and bring them into the open. You change your mindset.
Are you rolling your eyes at me?
Did I really tell you to lower your expectations and change your mindset?
YES! A resounding yes! Now, hang on. Don’t leave me just yet. Hear me out.
I know that when you feel like your marriage is crumbling, and you are hurt and confused, that is not what you want to hear. Maybe you have already lowered your expectations to the floor and you are sitting there reading this thinking that they can’t go any lower. Maybe you’re right. Or just maybe there is a basement below your floorboards. Do you see what I did there?
If you are feeling frustrated about your situation, you could probably stand to lower them more. BUT… if you are feeling hopeless, it’s definitely time to turn it over to one and only one that can help, and work on changing your mindset.
The bottom line is that you can’t change anyone. You can’t control anyone. The only thing you have control of is what you do, what you think, how you react, and what you change. That’s it.
And if something isn’t working for you, then you must figure out how to change that.
The only one that can complete you is the one who created you. There is a hole in your heart that only God, the Creator of the Universe, can fill.
Your spouse was never created to be your other half, as that is God’s role to fill. Through joining your lives together with your spouse, the two of you become one in Christ to demonstrate the wholeness of God to others. It’s so that through your union, others can see God’s light shining through.
But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.‘ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Take your marriage to Him. Take your heart to Him. Take your past to Him. Ask Him to open your eyes so you can see clearly and definitively what your next step is, and when He reveals it, take it.
You may be interested in reading more about how to connect with each other by reading Create Brilliant Healthy Habits in Marriage or 5 Steps to Greater Intimacy: Transform Your Marriage with an Intimacy Challenge.
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I love this post because it’s so true. The pressure involved in having to live up to the “you complete me” idea is terrible and can be unbearable. Everyone needs to read this!
Thank you, Fleda. That expectation causes so much damage in a relationship when it goes unmet, and it’s difficult to find a resolution. As a couple, you just begin spinning your wheels and hoping if you do this or that, you will gain traction. The fix starts with me. Where am I putting my hope and expectation into?