Need Is Okay

Relationships and marriages have always fascinated me. No two relationships are identical. There are always give and take, compromises and negotiations. Dynamics of all marriages have their highs and lows. In my opinion, how couples get through the struggles are true testaments of their love. My parents, especially my mother, raised me to be a strong independent woman. She did not want my sister and me to rely on a man to get through life. Should we find a companion, it would be because we fell in love and wanted to share our lives together – not for survival.

So, my entire adulthood I have had a negative reaction to the word “need” as it relates to a spouse. I would say, “I don’t need Marc, but I love him. I don’t need him as a partner, but I want him as a partner.” I think most people understand those scenarios. For the longest time I never thought of a scenario where “need” would be applicable as it relates to a spouse – until last week.

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My dad became very sick and was rushed to the emergency room and then flown to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Words were spoken like kidney failure, damage on the heart, dehydration, etc. Doctors were shocked he had not passed out unconscious.

I looked at my mother in the ER and said, “He will be okay.”

She replied with tears running down her face, “He has to be.” I was instantly reminded of a couple verses in the Bible.

Mark 10:8-9 – And the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

It was not just my dad in pain, but my mother also. She was not in physical pain, but a pain unexplainable. Yes, I was hurting too. No one wants to see his or her Daddy hurting. He is our superman. But a bond between a husband and wife is deeper.

They are one.

For the first time I saw that she needed him. Not just want and love, but something more.

Skip a few days to the hospital. I will not get into the complications of his illness. For the purpose of this post, you need to know that nights were his hardest most painful times of the day. You should also know that visiting hours were over at 9 p.m.

A little more backstory you should know that Dad’s catch phrase always includes “alright.” You ask him if dinner is good and he will say, “it’s alright.” You ask him how his day was and he will answer, “it was alright.” You ask him if he is hot and he will say, “I’m alright.” EVERYTHING is “alright.”

We were waiting for Dad to say, “I’m alright” in the hospital. Every time we asked how he is feeling, he would respond, “I’m hurting.” One night at the hospital he asked when he was going to get more medicine and mom told him at 9:30. He asked her to stay until he got it. So she did. We came in the next morning and he said he had a bad night. He asked her to stay in his room that night. For Dad, this was not an easy request. I should know. For almost 30 years, 70 percent of his vocabulary has included the word “alright.” He was not alright last week.

In those moments of pain and hurt, he needed her. Love and want does not fully express what I saw in his eyes.

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I know I am very lucky to have an awesome relationship example living in the house where I grew up. I know that not everyone has the privilege to watch how to love, how to rely on each other and even how to argue with each other. And after almost 30 years, I’m still learning from them. I have read Mark 10:8-9 many times. I thought I understood what God was saying. However, until last week, I do not think I completely understood the entire of meaning.

I think the word “need” has had a bad rep. Although I know without Marc I would be a strong independent woman, but we became one after we married. I need him. And that’s okay.