Reality and Perception: Feeling loved

November 12, 2012

in Good Marriage, Quality Time, Reader Requested, Survey Says ..., The "D" word

If you love your wife, but she does not feel loved, which of you is right? You know you love her, making it “reality” but if she does not feel loved then her perception is the reality in which she lives – a reality in which you don’t love her, or she is not sure you love her.

Perception and reality © Victor Habbick | freedigitalphotos.net

Yes, it is deeply frustrating. You can argue with her about it, but that will not help. In fact, arguing will probably make things worse. Alternately, you can figure out what would communicate love to your bride so she perceives your reality and starts feeling loved.

This is the idea behind Gary D Chapman’s best-selling book, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts; we “hear” love in different ways, and communicating love effectively requires you do so in the love language your spouse hears. If you have never read the book, I cannot recommend it strongly enough. It is neither a long nor difficult read, and if you get and apply what it says your wife should start to feel more loved in short order.

Bottom line: If you love your wife, but she does not feel loved, or does not feel as loved as you know you love her, her perception is the reality you must change. Do not get mad at her, figure out what you can do to show her the love you feel in a way she will perceive.

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5 comments
Jered
Jered

From a recent Focus on the Family interview I heard on a podcast, ask your wife three simple questions once a week or so: 1) where is your emotional "bucket" level from 0 to 10 (don't argue the number) 2) what is one thing I can do this week to help fill your bucket 3) what is one thing I can do this week to be a better husband to you

ladybug
ladybug

It's tough on our husbands, I know. Unfortunately, one or two unloving things can erase hundreds of loving things. For example, he may care for her, provide for her, give her special treats, compliment her, etc, but if he's looking at other women, or says nasty things when they have an argument, it can erase all that and she feels unloved.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

ladybug - I know that is often true, but I wonder if it's a bit too harsh? Have we come to expect too much? Is the standard out of reach for most (or all) men?

ladybug
ladybug

Is it harsh? Maybe so. Here are some of my random thoughts on that: 1. It can be hard for a bride to realize that her knight's armor is tarnished. I think some brides have the unreasonable expectation of always being the center of his universe. On the other hand, some husbands quit pursuing, and even shove her off to Pluto (center of universally speaking) once they've "caught" her and married her. There have been times I've had to remind hubby that he's got a wife, his life isn't his own anymore. Not that I was trying to control him or keep him from having a life, but rather, he was having a life all of his own and I was reduced to housemaid. 2. It can be hard for some wives to realize and accept that our husbands are human and the only one who can love us as completely as we desire is God. Yes, it hurts that our husband's love cannot measure up to God's love. However, it keeps us from idolizing our husbands (something I am prone to) and keeps our focus on God. On the other hand, blessed is the woman who's husband tries and works towards loving her as Christ loves the church. 3. I used the examples of looking at porn or saying nasty things during an argument that can erase all the loving things. Let's put the shoe on the other foot and ask the husbands if their wives are generally loving, caring women towards them, but do they feel unloved if she refuses sex or disrespects him? Do those things erase the loving things she's done for him? 4. I'm also using the "biggies" as examples. I don't feel unloved because he leaves his socks, underwear and wet towels on the floor. Yeah, I may grumble and feel like he thinks I'm the housemaid, but I don't feel unloved. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, "Thou shalt not leave thy socks on the floor for the wife of thy youth to pick up." But the Bible says not to lust after other women, and to be kind with our words and slow to anger. The examples I gave are things husbands SHOULD actively avoid. (Although, picking up your own dirty laundry would greatly bless your wife!) 5. Does God set the standard too high for us? I mean, really, as humans it seems, and perhaps it IS impossible for us not to sin. I don't know about you, but I don't think I can get through one day without sinning. Thankfully, we are saved by grace, but still, we are to rise to holiness and sanctification. We are to love God enough to actively TRY AND REPENT when it happens. 6. And that brings me to my final point. And this is where it hurts the most for me. Unrepentant. Ok, we all slip up. We all sin. We all do something stupid and say something stupid to our spouses to make them feel unloved or to hurt them. But where the hurt and unloved feelings linger are where hubby does not apologize. Not only was I not worth it to guard his eyes or his tongue, but now I'm not worth the apology! I do have my own part to play in this. I cannot let my hurt rule. I often have to swim out of the muck of hurt and actively remind myself of all the loving things he says and does for me. And above all, I must pray for him, for us, for our marriage, and for how I can be the wife God wants him to have.

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