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You Can't Always Get What You Want

I'll bet there is something you often want from your spouse but almost never get. For one woman I know, it's gratitude. A thank you, maybe some clue that he understands how much he needs her. Assume Love and ask why someone would never say thank you to a person he loves dearly. Acknowledging the incredible value of the relationship takes a lot of guts unless you are certain it's rock solid. When a man can see his wife is missing something, it's by definition not rock solid.

For a man I know, it's a pedestal. We love each other the way we want to be loved. He puts his woman on a pedestal and wants one of his own. He wants to feel she respects the man he is, even when he trips up occasionally, and would give him the gold medal all over again. Assume Love and think of reasons for a loving wife would refuse him a pedestal. It could be her humility, her feeling limited by her own pedestal, or simply that the only thing that feels like love to her is the time they spend together doing things both of them enjoy.

For some of us, it's to be our mate's number one priority or to feel like a great lover. It might be to receive gifts so delightful that we gasp when we open them. Or to be given control over whatever it is we're good at controlling: the decor, financial investments, or landscaping, for example.

No couple grows closer repeating the old "pay the rent" melodrama:
"Pay me a compliment!"
"I can't pay you a compliment!"

"Pay me your attention!"
"I can't pay you attention!"

"Pay me some respect!"
"I can't pay you respect!"

Yes, of course your relationship would be lots better (for you) if your mate simply came up with the rent, whatever sort of rent you're demanding. But he or she feels incapable of coming up with it.

What can you do? Assume Love and actively try to understand why your mate feels incapable of this particular loving act. Look for other evidence of how much you are loved. Volunteer to fill your months with more gratitude, respect, and priority treatment. Find Third Alternatives for anything you do for your spouse that often leads to feeling something's missing.

And when your need for whatever it is arises, belt out the chorus: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes..."

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

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