The thrill of love: It seems that when we marry – we believe our dreams and needs will be fulfilled and our partner is everything we want. That kind of thinking happens in the stage of enchantment which may last for a year. But, inevitably, the stage of disenchantment comes around for most couples.
Some things your spouse does start to irritate you. He/she no longer listens to every word you say. The interests you admired in your partner begin to cause disagreements and conflict. He/she is good at sports or music. You are fond of cooking or art shows. He always does little things for you around the house but, you want his time. You always tell him how great he is but he wants affection. And you thought you had so much in common. You thought your partner loved you just the way you wanted.
Differences arise: Gary Chapman in the 5 Love Languages talks about the differences married partners have. Some want words of affirmation. Others – quality time. Some want gifts or acts of service. Others prefer physical touch. It may be that you know your differences but, it’s hard to accept because you want love the way you want it. Of course, some of our expectations and opinions may differ and clash as well.
Maybe we don’t experience love because we don’t accept what we are given. It may be different than we expected. It may not be the same as when we first married. But, it IS love. Your spouse is trying to love you. It may not be your love language but it is love and you can enjoy it for what it is.
Maybe the way we want love – isn’t realistic. Maybe we should accept the love the way our partner can give it.
Steps for enhancing your marriage: So how can you start to encourage positive behaviors towards your spouse and in your relationship? By doing what YOU can to enhance your relationship and express your love:
1. Log comments which you make that are affirming and positive on a daily basis.
2. Think of ways to show your affection daily.
3. What positive behaviors from the past can you start expressing?
4. Begin to let go of your resentment and anger. Anger and unforgiveness will prevent connection and love from growing in any relationship. “Forgive as the Lord Jesus has forgiven you.” Col. 3:13
Read about Why is Forgiveness So Hard?
“You can start doing what you want to get. You can start acting and expressing love in order to start feeling love.”
©copyright 2018 Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC, CAMS-V
Disclaimer: there is no excuse for abuse and abuse should not be tolerated in any relationship. Get help if you are in an abusive relationship.