Three Approaches to Feeling More Loved
Almost all of us crave love. A few seem to get by without it, and a few more claim unconvincingly to do without, but most of us will twist ourselves into knots to be loved. Married folks who don't feel loved enough can really feel deprived.
I've noticed that when we crave more love from a spouse, we have only three choices. The first one many of us try is what I'd call foot-tapping, waiting for your unloving mate to get with the program. You drop hints that you're not getting enough, that your beloved doesn't measure up, you nag, you beg. You tap your foot and wait. Maybe you even drag your spouse off to a relationship therapist or marriage workshop, hoping that a professional will make it clear that you deserve better than this.
If you're more action-oriented (or reading most relationship advice), you listen better, write poems for your beloved, cook your mate's favorite meals, go to that unbearable opera or rugby match together, stop criticizing, offer spontaneous back rubs, buy that sexy new bedtime outfit, show up with flowers between Valentine's Days. Surely, if you shower your spouse with love, more will flow back to you. You "fill your emotional bank account" so that you can start making some big withdrawals. But it's no more fun than making your IRA deposits. You're not giving love; you're investing it.
Maybe you've even swung back and forth between these two approaches--doing, doing, doing, then tapping, tapping, tapping. Perhaps it's even gone so far that you've begun threatening to leave if you don't start feeling more loved real soon. Threats, of course, produce more resentment than love.
Assume Love offers another approach. Before you ask for more love, you can try to receive more of the love your spouse already gives. Maybe there's already enough there to make offering more love in return a joy instead of hard work.