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This was the note I received —

In any marriage, can either spouse provide all that the other one needs?   I’m not sure I have an adequate answer, although I admit that my tentative answer is “no.”  But, that answer is laden with landmines. 

For example, if both spouses realize that their needs are greater than the other can exclusively supply, danger lurks at the door.  The danger is that one, or both of the spouses, will interpret the turning of the other to someone else for certain need satisfaction as an act of rejection, an act that says “you are not adequate.”  If the one making that interpretation already suffers from a sense of inadequacy or inferiority, the pain can be very deep.  

But, there is even more.  When the spouses are deeply in love, they both will want to be the perfect person for the one they love entirely.  They will aim with all their strength to be that perfect spouse.  If they fail, and most likely they will, self recrimination will bring on pain, probably extreme pain.  

Along with that pain is the fear that at some point the one that is completely loved by the “failure” will walk.  The lover -“failure” will from that point on live with a complete sense of having been rejected, of being non-acceptable.  

Some people try very hard to please others.  Sometimes they succeed.  Other times they don’t.  The more remembered incidents are those of failing to please the one they love.  With each failure another nail is hammered into the already sensitive spirit. 

Can the memory ever become free from the pain of those nails?  Can the self-protective behavior of maintaining a wall between self and others ever come down?  Can you ever overcome the pain of hurting someone you love?  How well can you live with yourself when the one you failed is both the one you love with all your heart and the one who cannot come to the point of forgiving you?

So, again I ask, are some questions too good to answer?

How would you have responded to the note?