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Can We Overdo Loving?

Many loving acts can also be dangerous acts. Give too much help and your spouse may become lazy or begin to feel helpless. Give too much food and your mate may become dangerously overweight. Give too many compliments and your partner may become dependent on external approval, lose self-confidence and stop trying anything new. Give too much together time and your husband or wife may start to feel anxious when left alone. Give too much sex and you might feed an addiction that backfires on you. Forgive too many harsh words and your spouse may become someone no one, not even your spouse, likes.

How much is too much depends on your spouse's feelings about each of these loving acts, not yours. It also depends on how you give them.

Each of us develops our feelings about all of these loving acts before we can even talk. Some feel good, but we could feel loved without them. One or two are essential to feeling loved. Being denied the essential ones is painful, and we can handle a lot more of them without negative effects than someone else could. When deciding how much to give, pay attention to this difference.

If you feel you are in danger of giving too much, change it up instead of cutting it out. For example, if your spouse feels loved with words and fishes too often for compliments on appearance or ideas, switch to gratitude for his or her character strengths or kind actions, or switch to expressions of love and commitment. If it's together time, take some time for yourself and send a text to share a thought, or come home ready to share some of what you did. If it's food, serve smaller portions and make them look really appetizing, or turn some of your meals into events that take time to eat and enjoy. If you've been forgiving harsh words, speak up when you feel attacked and switch to forgiving crumbs on the floor or ill-timed farts.

Comments

Where did you get so much wisdom!? Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

Thanks, Sam. Most of it comes from making mistakes. I hate to waste them, so I blog.

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

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