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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.

Comments

Hi Patty,
This is a brilliant step towards achieving your ideal. AND I loved both the content and the generous impulse to help change the world.
Thanks for reminding us of what we really want, and how to redirect our focus from the 4th grade mind set to our own adulthood and greater freedom.
You Go Girl,
Cara

Hi Patty! Love this site. Classy presentation - what a surprise - and content that is so you.

Gill

Thank you for you response to my letter. But my wife Dana only wants to see the negative. Her perspective is shaped by her emotion and her emotions are filled with hurt. I always missed vacations and personal stuff like weddings etc...which lead to arguments and fights.I aun a small a small family business with my brother and mother we built it around the three of us and I always used it as an excuse because I couldn't find somebody to work,and was ashamed to take time off for fear of resentment from them. And in the process hurt the woman I love and put her last.plus I would get defensive and say things not from heart but cause I'm scared I felt threatened. Mind you we only faught over these things so holidays trips get togethers. Not everyday not over money or bills or sex or trust. We she said she did not love me anymore I realized I couldn't fight back because I did love her I'm not topping that. So I left the house.I wanted to stay so I left. ..its me to a tee doing the opposite of what I feel because I go fast and don't take my time.I started therapy the week after on my own because I saw I it only do this to her but everyone at Times nd I want to change.for me for her And most if all we us together. But My efforts now in all I do to get her back are a disaster and I push her further away.I love and respect her feelings and know it takes time I'm not trying to short change her feelings by saying hey it's a moth I'm better,I'm getting better.or after feeling  like this  For a while you flip a switch and love me again.I understand that completely. She owes me nothing and I have never asked for anything. ..anything in this union before. But now I am I want to let my efforts match the love I have always had and still do for her. I want her to get the man she has faught to be with. ..me. the me that has lost everything around him in the lest two months and I mean everything except my love for her.it drives me.I have a plan for cutting work saving money.going to that bank today and start a savings account for trips so I'm prepared and not fighting her plan because I have apologized to friends and family for not being there mire. I'm going to marriage counseling ( therapy) . I write her everyday on this phone but I see she crippled by these actions of the past and projects it to future wrong doings and it hardens her resolve. It wrong to that because it is logical she has not factored in absolute changehalf heart and my efforts.please help us my name is Greg ******* and my wife is Dana ******* she wrote to last night as well. Thank you

Congratulations on the bank account, Greg. That's a great idea. And on the counseling, so you can start acting the way your heart wants you to act. And bravo on owning up to the pull between doing your share with your brother and mother at work vs. doing what your wife needs.

Now Assume Love. Why would a woman who loves you speak of negative things and not positive ones? Could it be that she's made the mistake in the past of getting her hopes up too soon? That, because she loves you, it hurts a lot to be let down? If so, can you give her room to feel negative until she sees the changes are real and lasting?

There is no way to argue yourselves back into a loving relationship. You either take the risk of loving her every way you can while she's hurting too much to love you back, or you keep aggravating or confusing her until she takes her next step.

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Your comment will appear only after Patty confirms it's not spam. Thanks for your patience, and bah humbug to those who submit all that junk for making good folks like you wait.


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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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