“If he didn’t need me, why would he want me?”

At work a few weeks ago we had Al-Anon come and present about what they do because my agency will soon be hosting a monthly meeting (Al-Anon is the family support group side of Alcoholics Anonymous). The presentation was basically an Al-Anon meeting, it was meant to give us all a realistic experience of what meetings are like so we can accurately refer our clients.

Part of the meeting involves someone sharing their story. The women who spoke shared her experience of being married to an abusive alcoholic. She was a powerful speaker, and the part that I remember most was when she spoke about how she loved him so much she would do anything to keep him….so they got married. Then, when that didn’t improve the relationship, they had a baby. She did all of these things to make the relationship better, to solidify it, to make sure that he needed her; because if he didn’t need her, why would he want to be with her? 

That particular quote struck me as such a powerful statement. What is the difference between want and need? Can you want something and not need it? What does that feel like in a relationship? Are you wanted or needed? Or are you both?

I struggle with this sometimes.

Being needed feels more secure. Nobody is going to leave me if they need me in their life.

But being wanted feels so much more powerful. To have someone who wants you in spite of the fact that they don’t need you. To be wanted for more than just what you can provide. To be wanted for who you are, not just what you can do for someone.

I want to be wanted.

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