I think stereotypically in the beginning of relationships, women are typically considered more needy than men. However I think there is a shift for married men and especially when the kids come into the picture…..we become more needy.
Our expectations may increase this can manifest with various needs:
- We need everything to be clean
- We need more attention from our wife
- We need our kids to listen to us
- We need our free time
- We need more sex
- We need this, we need that
Let me make a disclaimer, if you are not complaining or thinking you need anything, then you are on the right track and this episode isn’t for you.
But if you have thought things you need in your life, you might want to listen.
What we need to do is to reduce our need to need and instead look at the reality of need versus want.
A need is something you can’t live without: food, water, clothing, shelter….maybe then there are some things you would categorize as needs because you really feel like you couldn’t live without them: music, exercise, etc.
But many of the things we state as needs are really called wants. Let’s review the list and substitute with want:
- I want everything to be clean
- I want more attention from our wife
- I want my kids to listen to me
- I want free time
- I want more sex
You get the idea
Wanting more of something isn’t necessarily bad, but when you are requiring the action or participation of another person, you are more than likely going to fail at getting what you want by complaining about it.
Let’s take cleaning as an example. If you really want things to be clean and your spouse just isn’t doing as good of a job as you feel they should, you have 3 options:
– Clean it yourself
– Hire someone to clean it
– Lower your expectations
Requiring your wife to clean more isn’t going to work (in the long run). These kind of expectations build up resentment.
You can end up in multiple parts of your life driving yourself crazy and those around you because of the “needs” you have. You have to realize that these are usually wants.
Break each “want” down and understand what are the options for you to solve this need (which is actually a want)
When you start removing the expectations of others and realize that your needs and wants are your own responsibility, it’s amazing how others around you will respond. You’ll get what you need.