Fishing Together

Security is about much more than money. Of course it’s nice to have a steady income, safe home, and adequate savings. Insurance salespersons highlight how uncertain the future is in order to sell their products, but in a marriage that kind of security doesn’t go very far. The financial ups and downs that are more likely than ever in today’s economy need not keep you from helping your spouse feel secure.

Your husband or wife probably places a different value on financial security than you do. That’s normal. But remember that money, houses, cars, jobs, and material things can be replaced much easier than most things of true value. Physical and emotional wellbeing, personal relationships, and spiritual vitality can be strong regardless of your financial circumstances.

If your spouse is feeling insecure it’s almost certainly about something deeper than money. Money issues only magnify what’s already going on in one’s own heart and in a relationship. If you want your spouse to feel secure, look at those deeper issues. Throwing money at the problem won’t fix it.

Here are some ways that are likely to help your spouse feel secure regardless of how big or small your bank account is.

1. Be transparent.

Nothing breeds mistrust more than discovering some bad news you’ve kept hidden. If your job is in jeopardy, you lost money, or some unexpected bills show up, let your spouse know. It’s the same with health challenges, family problems, or emotional/mental/ethical issues. Having the challenges out in the light always makes them easier to handle. Knowing exactly what you’re up against is much better than not knowing and speculating. And you can be almost certain your spouse will sense if something is wrong. Don’t keep it in the dark.

2. Respect their feelings and opinions.

Even if you believe their opinion is unfounded or their feelings are unreasonable, try to understand them. Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes as much as possible. Make your own heart a safe place for your spouse to be themselves. Treat their thoughts and emotions as you would a precious and valuable gift. Simply knowing that you treasure who they are can help them feel secure.

3. Take time to communicate.

This is a primary way in which you show transparency and respect. Being truly honest about your own dreams, feelings, and fears may feel vulnerable, but it breaks down walls between you. And it’s even more important to take the time to truly listen to your spouse’s dreams, feelings, and fears. Such communication breeds intimacy, and that’s how security and trust is grown.

4. Own your own stuff.

If you’ve made a mistake, apologize and ask for forgiveness. Don’t expect your spouse to make you feel a certain way. You’re responsible for your own thoughts and feelings. You have the choice to be happy regardless of the surrounding circumstances. Such growing emotional maturity provides another way for your spouse to feel secure; they know what to expect from you in most circumstances. While you look to your spouse for support, don’t expect them to carry your stuff for you. Carrying stuff together is good; unloading it on each other is unhealthy.

5. Demonstrate unconditional love.

This is the most important way to keep your spouse from feeling as though they need to walk on eggshells around you. They know you have their back regardless of money, family, health, or other problems. Make sure your spouse is the most important thing in your life, second only to God. Tell them verbally, and show them by your actions. Being able to demonstrate such unconditional love ultimately comes from knowing God’s love, and continually learning how to increasingly love your spouse well.

Helping your spouse feel secure will serve you both well for the rest of your lives. It’s worth learning how to do this right. Study your spouse. Learn what makes them feel secure, and then pay attention to doing that regularly.

Your Turn: Does your spouse struggle with insecurity? What can you do to help them feel more secure? Leave a comment below.

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