Don’t Expect Him to Fix/Fill Past Emptiness

We all come into marriage with empty places in our hearts. These empty places express themselves as loneliness, longing, disappointment, and regret.  

Society tells us marriage will fill these empty places. Our “soul mate” is supposed to be our answer, our salvation, the end of being empty. Unfortuanlty this fairy tale is a lie.

God said it was not good for us to be alone. So yes, our spouse is intended to meet certain needs and fill some of our empty places. The problem comes when we expect our spouse to fill places God never intended them to fill. It might be places God is supposed to fill or places that are empty because of the sins others have committed against us, or places that are empty because of our own choices. Our spouse is neither responsible for nor able to fill such places. If we expect them to they will either not try or try and fail. This leaves us feeling disappointed, denied, or wronged. 

What lies did culture tell you about marriage? What things were supposed to magically become wonderful when you said, “I do”? 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my life has become better as I’ve stopped expecting Lori to fill all my empty places.

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4 Comments on “Don’t Expect Him to Fix/Fill Past Emptiness

  1. A spouse can address our needs. Only Jesus can meet our needs. Confusion between the two is a spiritual problem which ends up hurting us emotionally and physically.

  2. There may also be a yearning for “that which has been lost”, memories of the gilded age of one’s original family.

    Barb and I met online, and had an exclusively long-distance relationship before we married. I didn’t realize how much the upper-middle-class lifestyle of her parents, with good furniture and properly-served and eaten meals held sway on her hopes…and she didn’t fully realize that she was marrying someone who was happy living in a hootch, using ammunition cans as chairs and eating with his fingers (though I did eat with a knife – a kabar – on special occasions). Extra money would not go to furniture (I never bought a piece of furniture in my life, before marrying at 41); it would go to tools and rifle optics and books.

    When we were trying to set up house together, I felt like a goat at Tiffany’s, and she began wondering if I was quite hygienic. We both learned to appreciate one another from who we were, though it took a divorce and remarriage to do it.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 341 – Making Like MosesMy Profile

  3. I agree with you that it’s not fair to expect our spouse to magically fix past hurts or fill emptiness that God is meant to fill. Jesus is the ultimate Healer, and it’s true we need to look to Him first. But I also don’t think we should underestimate or minimize the ways a spouse can help us heal as no other person can. I am a survivor of sexual abuse, and for years after tried to fill the emptiness and lousy self-esteem with risky sexual behavior. The abuse itself and my own choices left scars on my soul that I never thought could be healed. I worked through as much of it as possible with God’s help, and the help of a Christian therapist, and healed from as much of it as I thought I ever would. Then I met and married my husband. No, I didn’t expect him to heal anything, but God used him to help do so in the most amazing ways. I found levels of healing for my choices, and forgiveness for my abuser I never thought possible before. All because of the love my husband showed me, and the levels of intimacy I had with him that could not be found outside of marriage. It’s hard to describe more without going into *way* too much detail. Should one expect their spouse to be the magic healer or filler of emptiness? No. Can God use them to heal in unique ways? Yes, I believe He can and does.

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