You Complete Me . . . Not!

Is it such a terrible thing to say that my husband doesn’t complete me?
I recently picked up a book that I still hope is a great marriage book by Mort Fertel – Marriage Fitness. I plan on reading it and a few others on my upcoming vacation. But when it came in the mail today, I opened it to the first few pages and the dedication caught my eye. He wrote, “For my wife, Ari. You complete me.” And I had an immediate feeling of “dislike.”
I totally get that this is a romantic way of affirming his wife. I get that he wants to say that his wife satisfies him and thrills him—that he’s “completely” in love with her. But what I don’t like is that this statement can be, and has been, misconstrued, especially by Hollywood.
We heard these words being turned into a coined phrase in the movie Jerry Maguire, when Tom Cruise’s character said longingly to Renee Zellwegger’s character, “You . . . complete me.”
Can we all make a collective sigh?
I have to admit it was a rather moving and romantic moment. But, here’s my problem with this little phrase . . . 
No one can complete you except Christ.
  • Christ is the only One who fills that longing in our hearts and souls.
  • He’s the only One who can always be there for us.
  • He’s the only One who can, and does, love us unconditionally.
  • He’s the only One who is perfect, and therefore, complete.
So, why do we keep trying to have that expectation of our spouses?
I think it’s because we are human and determined to do things our way which, for all intents and purposes, is wrong. I think it’s because we long for a tangible, flesh and blood lover who can wrap his or her arms around us. I think it’s because we’ve bought a huge lie from Satan that distracts us from the only One who truly satisfies. And true to human form, we keep banking on the idea that this time it will be different!
I can assure you, it won’t.
We need to quit barking up the wrong tree and kneel before the only tree that promises completeness and healing (1 Peter 2:24). And when you fold your heart in the arms of the One who completes you, there won’t be a need for some human counterfeit.

By the way, I dedicate this post to my husband, Gary, who does not complete me, but whom I completely love!*

*”No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12 (NIV)

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the
tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

4 responses to “You Complete Me . . . Not!”

  1. I find it interesting that we want that stalker co dependent partner who would rather die than face a cruel world without us- Romeo/Juliet- Edward/Bella etc… I totally agree Beth, That is a distraction. We are already totally loved and wanted by The ONE who died FOR us. But we want a version of love we can script and control- but that really isn’t love, and we get angry when it doesn’t meet our expectations. I KNOW this, yet, WHY OH WHY do I still fall prey to magical thinking? (and, although it sounds lame, my husband truly had me at “Hello”- but he really should have stopped talking after that. hee hee)


  2. Thanks for linking up to the NOBH. I have always hated that movie phrase. It makes the assumption that someone else is responsible for your happiness which I think is horrible. YOu must be first happy with yourself before you can fully love another.:)


  3. — Hi BethI get the point you are making and, yes, God is the one who is completely perfect, not us humans, and without Him we could never be whole. I do, however, feel that because of the marital vows I took before God, my husband and I became one. See Genesis2:4, Ephesians 5:31, Mark 10:6-9. When I say that he completes me, it is not only because I completely love him, but because he is the other half of the whole , the one that we are in God’s eyes. Unless death should separate us, we fulfill God’s will and our destinies together. Our strength is in our unity.. the wholeness or oneness that we are because of our vows… a supernatural, spiritual bond that God formed between us on the day we were wed.Yes, Hollywood and others don’t get what those words really mean, so they use them loosely and inappropriately which can be irritating and misleading to the impressionable young people or people who are seeking to understand true love.Every soul is seeking.. many don’t know that the love they are seeking is in fact God Himself.. they will never be whole or finished seeking unless they have found Him. You make an excellent argument for this in your post. Sorry for the long-winded comment.. just my two cents worth 😉


  4. ElizabethSpence Avatar

    Totally agree with you…that’s the main reason I can’t get into the romance of Twilight (even though I enjoyed the stories). It’s just not healthy and I think it leads to expectations of our spouse that leave us unfulfilled.


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